“Football has taken me places and allowed me to do things I never thought were possible,” Kameron Marks said when asked how football has impacted her life. Marks, who started playing tackle football in 2007 and currently lives in Atlanta, Ga., played for the U.S. Women’s Tackle National Teams that won gold medals in the IFAF Women’s World Championships in 2010, 2013 and 2017.
Marks recently shared her experiences in the sport with USA Football.
How did you get started with football?
"Football has always been a huge part of my life. When I was living in Chicago to go through law school, I started playing recreational basketball with a few people that were on the USA Football National Team. They told me to come check it out. I had always loved football. My father coached my brother’s youth team, but it was never something I thought I could do. When they mentioned it to me, I said absolutely. I went and checked it out, and 2007 was my first year playing. I played with the Chicago Horse for 11 years and the Washington Prodigy for two years."
Tell me about your time on the U.S. National Teams.
"We competed in Sweden in 2010, Finland in 2013 and Canada in 2017. Being able to experience those countries and play football at the same time was amazing. I tell people all the time, the game in general is just different when USA is on your jersey. Everything impacts you differently, including the anthem and how you walk around. We knew that the people watching us play were looking up to us."
What are some of your favorite memories with your teammates?
"I think about when we played in the 2010 IFAF Women’s Tackle Championship. We had some really high scoring games and the women on the teams afterward were congratulating us for putting up those kind of numbers and our offense being that dynamic. They really appreciated being on the field with us and that spoke volumes to me. The overall experience, before 2010, was that there wasn’t a real sense of unity. You were very much laser focused on your team and then 2010 happened, and you got to know people from all over the country that had the same passion as you. Those relationships still exist today."
How has USA Football helped open the door for women in football?
"USA Football gives women the opportunity to play and learn. They have made it into a community. USA Football gave me the opportunity to play the game at the highest level that is currently available to women. It was really an opportunity to go out there and shine. I didn’t have to hold anything back. Full gas, no breaks. I really could go out there and give it everything I had and play hands down the best that I could knowing that I was going to be supported by every other position on the field."
How are you currently involved in football?
"I am now coaching a new team, the Atlanta Rage. I am currently the linebackers coach, and I’m really excited about it. I feel like I still have a lot to give to the game."
Marks is an inspiration to women and girls that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Also, that hard work pays off and you can develop into a better athlete, but the real benefit is the lasting relationships that you get to build with your teammates.