Quinn Petrinchuk has loved soccer since he was 17 years old.

After working his way up in minor league soccer with Regina Victorias, he made Regina Riot two years ago. Now, he has earned the chance of a lifetime from him.

In May, Petrinchuk, along with seven other Riot players, made the final roster to represent Canada at the IFAF Women’s World Championship in Finland in late July. She says that this is the pinnacle of her career so far.

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“This is the highest level of football I could play and it’s huge. It only shows up every four years, so it’s important to get it done this year,” said Petrinchuk, who plays defensive end.

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But getting to the tournament is not as easy as it seems. Each player in the tournament is required to pay $4,000 for travel, room and board. This amount also does not include spending money.

The tournament is scheduled to start on July 28, with the final payment due on July 15. With just under two months since the team was formed and with just under two weeks to go until the deadline, this has left several of Riot’s players planning to head to Finland with little time to raise the funds.

Petrinchuk is one of the players who maximizes her efforts to have the funds on time. She says fundraising, as well as working full time, has been incredibly challenging.

“Currently, I have literally put my life on hold so I can save money and raise money to go to this tournament and train on my own time. This is in addition to my full-time job, Monday through Friday…. I’m afraid I might have to use my entire paycheck to get there, and if so, so be it.”

The team has also been bonding and fundraising as a group. A GoFundMe Page has been established, but is currently at just over $2,000 of a goal of $18,000.

They’ve also gotten creative, hosting steak nights, silent auctions, raffles and even beef jerky sales.

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But the team has a way to go. Riot linebacker Rae-Lynn Schaffer, who was also part of the Canadian national team, says players have secured half of the necessary funding and with less than two weeks to go, there is a sense of concern within the group. .

“I think the financial burden after the tournament is over will hit people,” Schaffer said.

“Some of us have families and children, we have to pay bills while we are there and we are going to take three weeks off. Some of us had to take out a line of credit to be able to afford to go there…. Some people were told last week that they can come, so they have to come up with that money in a couple of weeks.”

The high expenses for the team started much earlier than just for this upcoming tournament. To attend the national team tryouts in Ottawa in May, players had to spend up to $1,500 of their own money just for the chance to be one of the select few.

“Part of me was like, ‘If I don’t make the team, I don’t think it’s worth spending that much money,’” Petrinchuk said. “But the way I did it, it was definitely worth it.”


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Regina Riot Well Represented on Team Canada


Regina Riot Well Represented on Team Canada – May 27, 2022

Both Petrinchuk and Schaffer say these obstacles point to a larger problem: underfunding in women’s sports.

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Riot head coach Kris Hadesbeck has been a men’s soccer coach. He says the problem is very obvious.

“With women’s soccer, it’s a common theme where we’re trying to fundraise and trying to find ways to limit our costs for the players, where that’s not really something that’s discussed too often with the guys,” Hadesbeck said. .

Petrinchuk and Schaffer agree that the disparity is unfair.

“It is unfair that women have to pay their own penny to participate in sports, especially at the highest level,” Petrinchuk said. “It is very frustrating to see my male colleagues who are the same age as me play football for free and I have to pay with all my money.”

“It’s extremely difficult, we don’t have the same opportunities, but it’s still what we all love to do,” Schaffer said. “It would be nice to raise more funds for women in sports and catch up with the men.”

While the costs may be high, Petrinchuk says he wouldn’t even think of passing up this opportunity.

“I love soccer very much and I am very grateful for the opportunity to play for the Canadian team and represent my country,” said Petrinchuk.

“This tournament is like the Olympics for women in soccer, it’s as high as we can go,” Schaffer said. “It’s my passion, it’s what I love to do, so I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is very worth it.

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Whatever happens, these women have the goal of going to Finland. As they push to represent their country on the highest stage, they hope that the visibility of women in football will only increase and eventually help solve the problems they face.

“I am delighted to be able to travel to Finland and to be able to show younger girls like in the Victorias that they can do this too,” said Petrinchuk.

Riot is also trying to help support their players in their fundraising. Hadesbeck says the team is donating $250 to each player to help with their costs.

“They’re just going to do whatever it takes to make this happen,” Hadesbeck said.

“They have sacrificed a lot of time, effort and energy, not only to get to the point of reaching the tournament… but also to earn money to travel.

“I am incredibly proud of them. Some of them have been working on this for years and seeing them achieve their dream makes you proud.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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