Awarded annually, the recipient is someone who has changed "The Game" - for all females - by forging the often difficult course through previously uncharted territory in and/or around the sport of American Football so that the next generation of girls might follow more easily.
2019 Recipient - Annice Canady
Annice Canady receiving her award from WGF COO, Dana Sparling
Annice Canady(L), Dana Sparling (C) and 2018 recipient Toni Harris (R)
Offering words of wisdom and encouragement to the SIG Girls Flag Football Team
Awarded in January, 2020
Pro Bowl Weekend - ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex - Orlando, Florida
In the company of the Staten Island Giants Girls 14U Flag Football team and their families during the NFL National Flag Football Championships, Annice Canady was bestowed our annual award for her ground breaking, ceiling-shattering accomplishments in the area of football officiating.
During her 3rd bout with cancer in 1995, she found herself drawn to officiating which eventually led her to becoming the very first female to officiate in the NCAA.
She has officiated 10 years of high school football, 13 years at the collegiate level, 10 years in both mens and womens flag football and 5 years of women's tackle football.
Annice currently serves as a Coach to Player Communicator in the NFL and also as an NFL Scout/Observer.
2018 Recipient - Antoinette "Toni" Harris
Awarded in January, 2018
New Orleans Saints Training Facility @ WWFG IV
First woman to be offered a full ride (2 yr) college football scholarship in a non-kicking position (safety). Cancer survivor...and so much more, all before the age of 23. She is an inspiration!
2017 Recipient - Gia Stamatelo
Awarded January, 2017
ESPN Wide World of Sports Facility / NFL Pro Bowl Weekend @ WWFG III
Gia Stamatelo began playing tackle football at FIVE years old! At 13 years of age and the ONLY girl on BOTH her recently undefeated Salk Middle School team AND her Levittown Pride team, she is going strong as she paves the way on Long Island for other girls to pursue the sport of football.
2016 Inaugural Recipient - Samantha Rapoport
Awarded January, 2016
New Orleans Saints Training Facility @ WWFG II
Truly the most fitting inaugural recipient, Samantha has championed the causes of women who love and want to play football.
She began playing flag football at the age of 12 which led her to the Quarterback position for the Montreal Blitz women's tackle football team. In 2003 she earned herself a marketing internship with the NFL where, after many years of gainful employment with them was awarded the NFL Commissioner’s Innovation Award for her ground breaking, innovative work.
Then, for several years, she left the NFL to work for USA Football to focus on getting more women around the world playing the sport. During her tenure here, she brought to fruition, the Women's World Football Games, which offered an opportunity for women around the world to come to the United States and hone their football skills under the guidance of professional coaches.
In 2016 she was hired back by the NFL to work as the Director of Football Development with a focus on bringing more women to the operational side of the league.