Charlotte Simard’s date with history will probably not take place this year. The student-athlete will have to wait before becoming the first woman to line up with the Voltigeurs football team at Cégep de Drummondville in division 3.
At the end of September, the Cégep de Drummondville announced the indefinite suspension of fall team sports competitions, including football, due to the evolution of COVID-19.
For Charlotte Simard, it’s a hard blow. She was all set to show this fall what she can do on a soccer field against men.
“It’s pocket, but I try to control what I can and let go of the rest,” says the 17-year-old student. I will prepare for the next season. “
The young woman who is not cold in the eyes is eager to be able to exercise her passion again.
“Being a woman in football is special and a bit unique, but I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world,” she says.
After falling in love with football in secondary school at Saint-Bernard College, the one who plays as a defensive back had done everything to earn her place in the college ranks.
“It’s more difficult for me physically, admits the main interested. I can’t stand up against everyone, but at the same time, I find it rewarding. I mainly focus on technique, because I don’t have the natural physical abilities of a football player. I know there are specific aspects of the sport that I have to master so as not to get fucked up on the pitch. “
In the past, the young woman has tried other disciplines such as cheerleading, without being able to fully develop.
“I appreciate the team spirit and the adrenaline that you get when you play football. I’m a little tomboy. Every year I have been afraid of not being able to fit in, but everything has always been fine […]. Guys have always been impressed and they find it hot to have a girl on the team.
“At the junior level, it didn’t bother my parents that I played because I was the same size as all the guys,” she says. At the juvenile level, they didn’t really want to see me on the pitch. I was supposed to be a kicker, but decided that wasn’t what would happen. I continued to play on defense. “
In the medium term, Charlotte Simard’s goal is to have some playing time. She is determined to prove that she can do it.
“My greatest strength is my perseverance,” she says. Just because I don’t succeed the first time, doesn’t mean I won’t. To be successful, I would advise other girls to do whatever they want and to avoid making others decide for them. “
“Charlotte deserved her place”
For his part, the new Voltigeurs head coach, Philippe Leduc, has a lot of good things to say about the rookie.
“She always works very hard,” notes the coach. She totally respects our team culture and that’s something I really appreciate. Charlotte has earned her place in the roster. She did whatever she needed to do to be with us.
“I can’t speak for the other programs, but for my part, I have no problem having female athletes on the field,” he says. I have always been open and see no problem with her participating in football. “
▶ Charlotte Simard won’t be the first female athlete to play college football. Amélie Perras had defended the colors of the deceased Jeannois from the Collège d’Alma in 2015.
COVID at home
In addition to showing exemplary discipline on the football field to hold its own against the men, Charlotte Simard has no room for error at home for nearly three weeks, recently. Three in five members of the Simard family had contracted COVID-19, despite having tested negative.
Since one of her brothers, her mother and her father tested positive for the new coronavirus, Charlotte Simard had to take care of the youngest of the family, in addition to continuing her studies full-time. His classes were held online.
“It was panic at home at the beginning, because we didn’t know anyone who had the disease in Drummondville,” she emphasizes. I was scared, but eventually I got used to the situation. The entire second floor of the house was isolated during this period. We only brought them meals. “
Since her parents developed symptoms on the fifth day of quarantine, the Simard family had to start the count again and isolate themselves again for 14 days.
Charlotte Simard’s quarantine ended on Friday (October 9), after 19 days. Everyone is doing well at home. The student was particularly worried a few days ago of developing symptoms and starting a two-week isolation period again.
“I felt like it didn’t end it all anymore,” she hinted over the phone. I tell myself that maybe it is better that we cannot play football with CEGEP under the circumstances. Living with the disease is really boring!
“I couldn’t wait to get out,” she added. It’s a relief, but we just fell in the red zone [au Centre-du-Québec], so I won’t be able to really enjoy it. “