Porter Wilson Award
Yvette Henricksson - Stockholm, Sweden
Yvette has kept the torch burning for Sweden’s Women’s Flag Football League.
Knowing nothing about American Football, in 2000 she was invited to travel to the U.S. to compete in the Kelly Mc Gillis Classic first time ever: Nordic Team – which was a combined team of women from: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. Yvette got hooked. When she arrived back at home in Sweden she decided to form her own team. She named the team after the city she lived in then “Oostersund” meaning ‘the land Republicans’ and started with two teams: Junior and Senior.
In that same year, following the IWFFA / Oostersund Women’s Flag Football Tournament, team reps from Scandinavia officially joined together to support one another in growing American Flag Football in Scandinavia. Yvette helped represent Sweden.
Yvette was board member, a team leader and played in Oostersund for the next two years.
Over the years she had competed in both U.S. and Nordic tournaments never missing a year since 2000 – 2008.
She enjoys exploring the differences between the Nordic and U.S. team’s style pointing out: “In Scandinavia it’s more of a “family” atmosphere here as many of these teams travel to each other’s competition and see each other quite frequently”.
Today she represents the Stockholm Mean Machine, for which she recruited players, made their travel arrangements and does most of the driving in the big city.
“Once a player catches the fever they are hooked”. She adds that most of the new players are younger and bring much more energy onto the team.
Nowadays she plays less and focuses more on the growth of the teams. Yvette has been the driving force for fundraising for her tam.
Now that IWFFA has gone non-profit, Yvette is committed to have SAFF recognize the IWFFA so that their teams can get the financial support as all other sports do in Sweden.
Yvette wants to lay low these days. She encourages younger players to assist in the organization and managerial responsibilities.
Her absolute most favorite experiences in flag football has been the Loose Women’s Team. There she is having fun and just playing flag football. She is also recognized at the 2007 IWFFA / Nordic Sportswoman of the year for her achievements as an athlete.