Victoria Ware, American football player from Walsham-le-Willows, gets first-ever call-up for GB national side ahead of Women's European Championships in Leeds
Victoria Ware may have discovered her passion for American football late and by accident, but the chemist from Walsham-le-Willows has quickly risen up the ranks to earn a spot on the British women’s team for this month’s Women’s European Championships.
The tournament will take place in Leeds – the first time the UK has ever hosted a major American football tournament – at the South Leeds Stadium from August 12-17.
Competing in the tournament will be host team and number one seed Great Britain, reigning European Champions Finland, plus Austria and Sweden – both experienced competitors in European and World championship events.
The 27-year-old has only been playing the sport since 2014, after becoming enamoured with the game following an experience at Wembley Stadium, as a founder member of the Iceni Spears, in Norwich.
The club remain the only female American football team in East Anglia, competing in national contact and non-contact tournaments.
Ware said she had effectively trialled for the Team GB team in June 2018, taking part in the Diamond Series – an 11-a-side contact football tournament open to individuals – to receive the call-up to the international side.
She said: “I was shocked. Very, very shocked as it was the last thing I was ever expecting from the Diamond Series experience.
“I just wanted to play and enjoy the opportunity to play the full format of the game, rather than the standard league format of 7-a-side.
“But they then had to make a further selection, to narrow it down even further in June – and I made it, I am one of the 45 squad members who will compete in Leeds in weeks.
“I think I cried for about two days, it’s the most amazing feeling; it’s the dream, but a dream I never expected to become a reality.
“It’s hard to believe really, I will be playing with and against the girls who inspired me. And it does make it that much more special to know it’s a home games. We could win in front of a home crowd.”