Series Created by Sarah Wolfer – Seattle Majestics Player
The Seattle Majestics Football team launched a series on March 8th to highlight the many impressive women who make up the team. The Seattle Majestics players and coaches come from all walks of life with varying backgrounds and experiences who are unified by one common goal – Winning the IX Cup in Denver, Colorado this summer.
This #FootballFriday we highlight long-time Majestics-Veteran Sherrie Hill. Though originally a basketball player, Sherrie made the transition to football in 2001, and hasn’t looked back since. Sherrie hasn’t allowed anything to hold her back from finding success in sports and in life and is ready to help the next generation of female athletes do the same. Sherrie believes that there is a spot on a football team for everyone and that we all bring unique strengths to the field. She is incredibly strong both physically and mentally and has used this to propel herself forward into the life she wants. As a social justice advocate, Sherrie takes her work and her involvement with football very seriously and is an inspiring role-model for girls everywhere. Read her story here!
Tell us about yourself and your journey to become a tackle football player with the Seattle Majestics. How did you get started playing football?
I grew up in California and went to Mills College which is an all women’s college in Oakland, California. I have a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and have been working in healthcare since 2001. It satisfies my sense of caring for people who need help and working to resolve social justice and inequality issues.
I’m the oldest of five kids and I have a big dog and two cats. I’m a super geek and I love data analysis, reading, star wars and superhero culture.
I played basketball from elementary school through college, and I didn’t ever really consider playing football growing up. I liked football but didn’t really understand it and going to games was more of a social outing than anything.
After I graduated college a close friend that I had grown up with called me and said she was putting a football team together and wanted to know if I would be interested in playing. I was hesitant as I was a bit out of shape and didn’t really know anything about football, but I decided it was a new challenge and a good chance to hang out with my friend.
Why the Seattle Majestics and the WNFC?
I found that I really liked the challenge, the sport, and how much it is about the whole team rather then the individual.
That team she started back in 2001 is now the Seattle Majestics and I am so proud that this team has grown to be one of the most elite teams in the country. The Majestics have a great group of people who really care about not only the sport, but the women who choose to play here as well.
As part of the Women’s National Football Conference, the Seattle Majestics are now sponsored by Adidas through the “She Breaks Barriers” campaign. What do you feel are the biggest barriers facing women in sports today?
I think the biggest barrier facing women in sports today is not just one thing that is easy to identify and solve.
For many, it is about the stories that people around us tell about how much women are not valued as athletes.
Or how playing sports will make us unpopular.
That we will get hurt.
How we don’t have career opportunities there so we shouldn’t take it too seriously.
How we are too small or too big to play.
We spend a lot of time looking for reasons to discourage women from playing sports and not enough time helping to break the barriers that can hold us back.
What do you see as your role in changing that?
My role in changing the barriers for women in sports is to encourage and mentor girls who want to play sports.
I am an aunt and I try to encourage my nieces to play any sport they want.
I am trying to be visible and vocal with them and other girls about being active and that playing sports doesn’t mean they will be unpopular or not girly.
Mentoring and encouragement of the next generation of female athletes is so important to change the culture.
Based on your own experience, what advice would you give girls growing up today?
My experience has taught me that even if you don’t think you are any good, or that you don’t think you are the right size, or any other thing you have heard about why you can’t, you should not listen to it.
I have been told a lot that I was too fat and slow and I had to change the story.
I am not fast but that is ok. There are some fast people who are not as strong as me.
I am choosing to pay attention to the things I am good at. I don’t let anyone discourage me from working to be the best that I can be.
Who is your (s)hero and how did/ does she inspire you?
I don’t have just one superhero. I went to a women’s college and through that as well as playing football for 11 years I have had the chance to meet some truly exceptional women who overcome some really difficult challenges every day.
I am amazed at the struggles and triumphs by the single moms, and the hard working women in male dominated trades, and those who don’t have support from their family or significant other and yet they come to practice and they study and dominate on the field.
The spirit of determination and willingness to lift each other up is truly amazing and I feel very lucky to get to see and be a small part of it.
If you want to see Sherrie and the Seattle Majestics in action, you’re in luck! The WNFC recently joined forces with USCREEN and announced “WNFCTV.” Check out more information and watch the games live HERE