📣 BASE SHOWCASE PLAYER OF THE WEEK 2. Katarzyna Malarek of the Warsaw Sirens.📣
BASE: How did you feel when BASE contacted you about being our first female and Week 2 player of the week?
KM: I felt great and honored! Thank You very much for this distinction.
BASE: Coach Booker has said that you are one of the most dedicated player he has ever met and that your recognition is deserved.
BASE: You are a familiar face with BASE. You have attended all 4 BASE CAMPS. How important have camps, not only BASE, been to your development?
KM: The camps are crucial for me. My team doesn’t always have full coaching staff and we have limited opportunities to learn new skills from experienced coaches. I train a lot by myself and camps give me new drills and views on what I need to work on more. Also, I can compare myself with other players to see how good or bad my game is. I went to few international camps and that also provided me with many contacts with coaches and players from all around Europe.
BASE: We encourage all players to attend camps. They are great in all the ways you mentioned.
BASE: Tell us, how/why did you get into playing football and how much experience do you have?
KM: My good friend Karolina Cieslak invited me to the try-outs many times and one day I decided to give it a go. It was at the end of 2015 and now is my 3rd season. Since my rookie year I am also a player of German teams. First was Spandau Bulldogs and for two last years I have been playing for Aachen Vampires (both teams play in 2 DBL). I played as a DB and this year I transitioned into RB. What I like the most about football isthat it is very demanding on many levels – physical and mental.
BASE: It’s nice to hear that you are reaching out to other teams in order to grow.
BASE: Where is Women’s football right now in Poland and what needs to be done to grow?
KM: Female football in Poland doesn’t exist if we will compare it to other countries like Czech, Austria, Germany, Russia, France and many other (not mentioning USA where some of the players are half professional). Those countries have leagues, national teams not only in full contact but also flag football. First, I think the overall awareness of female football has to increase. Many players or fans of American football in Poland don’t know how much it has grown over the years all over the world. Second issue is that for female football to develop in Poland male teams help is crucial. For example, in Germany almost all female teams (and there is over 50) are part of big organisations. And it is the same in other countries. From what I saw abroad this is the way that female football grows – not as individual, independent teams but as part of one big multi team organisation.
BASE: We hope that over time “male” teams will turn the corner and help out more!
BASE: You don’t have much competition. Is it difficult to mostly only practice and hardly any games?
KM: Yes it is. That’s why I decided to join German league when the opportunity occurred. As we don’t have a league in Poland, we have to travel abroad and play only friendly games. It is not easy as usually our opponents can play with us only before or after their season. That’s why every year the number of games and time is different. I am lucky to play in Germany, because of that, I can play at least 5 or 6 games a year and gain a lot of experience.
BASE: Finger crossed for more games for you and your team.
BASE: One last question, what was the last thing to make you smile/laugh?
KM: With few of my team mates, I went to kindergarten to talk with children about American football. Funny part was the questions and answers. Some questions were quite unusual (Can a player kick the judge? What if the judge didn’t notice he was kicked? Do Warsaw Sirens have a trophy? Can a trophy be made out of paper?) And it was also funny to see kids wear helmets, pads and other equipment.
BASE: Our academy of English also teaches young learners and they make us laugh all the time. It’s great that you all went into the community to spread the word.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. We hope you continue to develop and spread the love of football.
KM: Thank You once again for choosing me and I am waiting for future BASE CAMPS
Photo: Slaweg – Foto Slawek Boczkowski