Women in Sports: Q&A with New York Sharks defensive back, Nhandi Brown.
It’s been over four decades women’s football has been on the field. Running, tackling, punting and scoring touchdowns. In both the number of teams and levels of competition the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) is the most promising growth sport to take place within the last five years.
New York Sharks, defensive back, Nhandi Brown, has been apart of the WFA since 2014 and continues to strive for the 2018 season.
How she started:
Brown, 21, from Brooklyn, New York, knew that football would be the sport to play. From growing up in a household where others could teach and help Brown succeed – football became her number one passion. In the near future, Brown seeks to become an FDNY Firefighter.
DoubleGSports: How did you get into playing football? Was it by choice? Did someone in the family encourage you to play?
Nhandi Brown: I have always been interested in football. I always wanted to play and my family encourage me to do what I love. When me and my brother were little we got a chance to play on the same team for the first time and it was an amazing experience.
DGS: Did you play any other sports growing up?
NB: Yes I did. I played Basketball and Flag Football.
The New York Sharks, formerly known as Long Island Sharks, opened their doors to female athletes in 1999. A New York based all-women’s flag football team turned tackle, the Sharks have made progress over the years to encourage women to play independent football through the WFA.
The New York Sharks:
DGS: What position do you play?
NB: I play Defensive Back also known as DB.
DGS: Is this your first year with the Sharks? If not, when did you start playing with the team?
NB: I started playing for the Sharks on 2014.
DGS: What has been your biggest challenge playing in a high-intense league? What has been your highest achievement?
NB: Trying to keep my body healthy would be my challenge playing this intense game. My highest achievement was getting to play in the WFA All-Star game.
Football, known to be a “man” sport, is becoming popular among the female demographic around the United States. It’s encouraged female athletes like Brown to push for younger athletes to play.
Future Female Athletes:
DGS: How does it feel to be a woman playing a “man’s” sport?
NB: Awesome! Women can and do play a “man” sport.
DGS: Do you feel that more young girls should play sports? And, why?
NB: Yes I do feel that more young girls should play more sports. I feel that it builds influence that is replicated to inspire more younger girls.
DGS: How would you encourage young girls to follow their dreams (even if it wasn’t sports)?
NB: Always believe in yourself and enjoy the journey.
Looking ahead, with 65 teams this season, the New York Sharks’ look to compete and take home the WFA National Championship win. The New York Sharks’ home is in Brooklyn at the Aviator Complex in Floyd Bennett Field.