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Winnipeg Blue Bombers' high school girls flag football league kicks off inaugural season

More than 200 Winnipeg high school girls are kicking off the start of a new flag football league — thanks to the city's CFL team — and one coach says they're hoping to break down stereotypes while doing it.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are giving the students a chance to show off their flag football skills in a six-week-long competition between 19 high school teams across Winnipeg.

The league is solely for girls in grades nine to 12.

"You can see how passionate they are about it, and they're like super pumped," said Chris Ollson, who's head coaching Oak Park High School's varsity girls flag football team.

"They don't want to be stereotyped into those classic, 'This is a girl sport or this is a guy sport.' They're looking to kind of break some barriers down."

Starting April 2 and ending May 8, 87 games are slated to happen at Winnipeg Soccer Federation South and St. Vital Mustangs Field. Games are scheduled each Tuesday and Wednesday.

Schools like Grant Park High School, Tec Voc and Glenlawn Collegiate are also taking part.

Ollson said this is the first time there has ever been a high school girls flag football league in Winnipeg, but with 19 teams signing up for the league, he said it's obvious there's an untapped market.

"If you look at the numbers that are going to be in this league, look at the numbers that want to be involved within our high school, it's obviously something that's desired among the teenagers," he said.

In fact, Oak Park had to make two teams since so many girls were interested in joining. About 40 tried out and 30 made the cut, making up two 15-player teams.

Most of them have never played flag football before.

"It just makes me super excited that there's such interest," said Ollson.

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