Awarded annually, the recipient is someone who has quite literally changed "The Game" - and the narrative - for girls and women who currently and will one day play the sport of Flag and/or Tackle Football.
We couldn't be more proud to announce that our
2023 Game Changer recipient is Diana Flores!!!
Awarded August 12, 2023
Flag Football Life's 3rd Annual "We Run the World" Event in Conshocken, PA
Diana was told from a young age that she was not tall enough, not strong enough and too young to play this game - and yet - she persisted and ultimately proved that she IS ENOUGH to play this game!!!
Her football journey began at 8 years of age (as of this writing, she is 25). At 10 years old, she was playing with 16-17 year old girls. At 16, she joined Mexican National Team for the 2014 World Games and played all positions EXCEPT QB, as she had to prove herself. After 9 years playing various positions on the National team, she finally realized her dream of being QB!!
To date, she has participated in four World Games and has won a bronze, a silver and a gold medal, most recently when Mexico defeated the U.S. , 39-6, in Birmingham, Alabama in 2022. Flores completed 20 of 28 passes for 210 yards and four touchdowns.
She understands that “all of this” is about something SO much bigger than herself: it’s what she and her teammates are doing now, that is inspiring more and more young girls everyday to be fearless in the pursuit of their dreams, whatever they may be. Diana uses her platform and presence to create greater opportunities for girls to play football and inspires them with her personal journey.
Flores’ next dream is to represent her country at the 2028 Olympics, to be held in Los Angeles. California.
Diana's Football Accomplishments
As a Role Model not only to Latina girls, but to all girls who want to play this game
First flag football player to be in an exhibit at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. (Jersey worn and football held in Super Bowl Commercial, Feb of 2023)
Offensive Coordinator for the AFC in 2023 Pro Bowl, alongside HC Peyton Manning
NFL Global Flag Football Ambassador
Named Under Armour’s very first Global Flag Football Ambassador in August, 2023
We look forward to watching Diana continue to not only excel in the game she loves to play, but in her tangible efforts to help increase opportunities for girls to play football.
2022 Recipient - Mitchie Collette
Awarded July 9th, 2022
WFA Championship Weekend - Tom Benson Memorial Stadium, Canton, Ohio
If it were possible for one person to literally “break the mold” in deserving this honor, it would be this year’s recipient, Mitchi Collette, who, for over 50 years, has served the women’s game: as a player, coach, friend, ambassador and mentor.
Mitchi’s journey began as a player for the infamous, Toledo Troopers, where she played from 1973 to 1979. In 1983, the Troopers were recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame as the winning-est professional football team in history.
Mitchi next played for the Toledo Furies from 1985 to 1989. Her transition into coaching began in 2002 for the Toledo Spitfire where she served as the Head Coach for one year. The following year, in 2003, she founded the Toledo Reign, and has served as the team’s owner and Head coach to the present day – a nearly 20 year run.
Scientists and Healthcare Sheroes & Heroes
Nearly two years, unprecedented by any in our lifetimes, fraught with challenges on every possible level, the very best of the Human Spirit was witnessed by us all in the form of our dedicated and selfless healthcare workers and scientists worldwide. Our debt of gratitude is one which can never be repaid. Thank you, to each and every one of you, for what you have done in an effort to comfort and heal the world.
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
Toni Harris became the very first woman offered a full ride (2 yr) college football scholarship in a non-kicking position (safety). Toni is defined by her ability not only to survive incredible challenges, but overcome them and thrive in her only 23 years of living. An adopted, cancer surviving super women, she is an inspiration to us all!!
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 and continues to do so to this day.
She began playing flag football at the age of 12, eventually landing the job of quarterback 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 by the NFL in role of Director of Football Development with a focus on creating a more defined pipeline for qualified woman and minorities to apply for employment opportunities within the organization.