REGINA – We’re all part of Rider Nation – that’s the message University of Regina kinesiology masters candidate Katie Sveinson is hearing from women Rider fans.
“A lot of people talked about traveling. They go to Mexico, they went to New York, they put on their Rider jersey and people would come up to them and talk to them. And so really, this sense of community was huge for them,” said Sveinson.
Sveinson received a $17,500 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council scholarship to study the experience of being a woman fan. The trend she’s already begun to see in her preliminary research is that women want to be acknowledged as real fans – as informed and as passionate as their male counterparts.
“One big thing is the pink thing, that the women do not like pink. They’re not a fan of the pink (jerseys). They don’t like being singled out,” she said.
They don’t like being singled out, but they don’t mind a single seat.
If I didn’t find anyone, I’d go by myself. That’s how dedicated I was to the Riders,” said Megan Jalbert, a lifelong Rider fan.
Now the wide receiver for the Regina Riot has a group of equally as passionate – women – football fans to go cheer on the green and white.
“Just following them and loving them so much, got me into playing women’s tackle football, so I don’t by any means feel marginalized anymore,” said Jalbert.
Sveinson’s research will shed light on how women’s surging interest in sports is changing the game, the culture and marketing.