May 28, 2024

Émilie Pfeiffer-Badoux is eagerly learning with Alouettes

Liam Mahoney/Concordia University Athletics

MONTREAL – In 2022, some 15 years after leaving coaching to devote herself to her job as a police officer within the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), Émilie Pfeiffer-Badoux was presented with an opportunity that she couldn’t let pass her by.

“The year 2007 coincided with the start of my career as a police officer. It was more difficult to find time for coaching,” explains the Montrealer, who emphasizes that she nevertheless fully pursued the practice of flag football during this period.

“Two years ago, Concordia University asked me to join their coaching group, and I was really interested. I put my career as a patroller on hold at that time – I took a three-month leave of absence – but today I’m learning to combine the two.”

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Emilie Pfeiffer-Badoux juggles her job with the Montreal Police Department with her coaching duties at Concordia University (Liam Mahoney/Concordia University Athletics)

Pfeiffer-Badoux has held the position of assistant coach in the Stingers’ special teams for two years. She is notably responsible for the players on the practice squad during training sessions, but she also performs analysis and supports Guillaume G. Bourassa, the Stingers’ special teams coordinator, in developing game plans for the team. In 2023, she was named assistant coach of the year for the Quebec Student Sports Network (RSEQ).

A graduate in police techniques from Collège de Maisonneuve – where her time as a flag football player was immortalized by an induction into the Vikings Hall of Fame in 2007 – Pfeiffer-Badoux recognizes that there are certain connections to be made between her job as a police officer and her passion for sport and coaching.

“First of all, there is teamwork, whether you are playing the sport or coaching players,” said the two-time world champion and seven-time Canadian champion as a flag player. “Between coaches, teamwork and team spirit are very important, and this is also the case between police officers during patrols. In both areas we face conflicts and difficult situations. In both cases, you must learn to continue moving forward despite adversity.”

This month, Pfeiffer-Badoux will be one of nine participants in the third edition of the annual Women in Football Program, presented by KPMG, with the Montreal Alouettes selecting her and hoping to benefit from her skills and experience as a coach.

After two years with the Stingers, she believes she is now better equipped to appreciate what is happening at the next level. She is excited to learn while working for a professional football team, and to develop her skills as a coach.

“Thanks to the program, I have the opportunity to broaden my knowledge and see how things are done with another team and, more particularly, in a professional club,” she shared when submitting her application in February. “I think this experience will take me to the next level and make me a better coach. I also have interest in other aspects of a football team, such as football operations and business operations.”

Pfeiffer-Badoux says she is very happy to have the opportunity to learn by joining a CFL team for a four-week stretch. However, she avoids saying that she is lucky. After years of working hard to prove herself as a coach at the community, secondary and more recently the university levels, she fully deserves the opportunity that presents itself to her today.

Pfeiffer-Badoux joined the Alouettes’ camp eager to get to work.

“I exchanged emails with Allyson Sobol [the Alouettes’ football operations manager] and I had already met Jason [Maas, the team’s head coach] and Danny [Maciocia, the general manager of the Alouettes],” she said.

With the Women in Football program, the CFL and KPMG want to take steps to create a more positive and inclusive future for football. Over the coming weeks, program participants will have a unique opportunity to gain knowledge and practical work experience in the professional football environment. The initiative of the CFL and KPMG is therefore one of the most important in the eyes of Pfeiffer-Badoux.

“The fact that football is also accessible to girls and women is only just starting to become normalized,” she emphasizes. “Girls and women can play or coach football; it’s no longer just a sport for men. But all of this is relatively new; there are not yet a huge number of women in coaching roles in organizations. A program like Women in Football helps open doors, and it gives women the chance to reach higher levels.”

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