The Legends Campaign, a partnership between Reign FC and Avanade, honors women for their extraordinary contributions in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Prior to our April 21 match against the Orlando Pride, Reign FC will recognize Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards as a Reign FC Legend.
Mayor Woodards spent most of her life in the South Puget Sound. A graduate of Lincoln High School, Woodards was stationed at Fort Lewis while serving in the United States Army. Prior to serving as mayor, Woodards was the president of the Tacoma Urban League and has leadership experience with the Washington State Commission of African American Affairs, the Washington State History Museum and the Tacoma Metropolitan Parks Board.
Woodards has championed the cause of bringing professional soccer to the South Sound, announcing Reign FC’s relocation at a joint press conference January 30.
“I want to thank Reign FC owners Bill and Teresa Predmore for choosing Tacoma and Cheney Stadium and caring so deeply about women’s professional sports,” Woodards said. “Reign FC are the highest level of professional athletes to ever call Tacoma home. These women—and I’m glad they are women—playing in my home town are world-wide superstars. They’re the best of the best. With world, club and Olympic experience across the board. I can honestly say, that as mayor of Tacoma, it does not get any better than this.”
On the Power That Players Have as Role Models
“I was in a meeting with female business leaders when a woman asked me, ‘how do we inspire other young women to get involved where they can?’ We inspire young women by being what it is they want to be so they can see the leaders in us, so that they believe that they too can be those leaders. Thank you so much for the leadership that you show and we’re so excited to have you.”
“Just look at (Tacoma-born NFL players Desmond and Marcus Trufant). From Tacoma. What does that do for kids that knew them? Kids that grew up with them? It brings more pride to our city. The percentage of people that go into professional sports is very low, but I bet those percentages are even lower to kids that don’t believe that they can. I think the opportunity to have a professional sports team here shows kids that it’s possible.”
On Reign FC’s Ability to Boost Civic Pride
“As a kid who grew up here, I didn’t get to spend a lot of time at Cheney Stadium, but now to be able to have a women’s soccer team here that I can go to and encourage other young women to go to and participate, it’s just another way to show off our city. There’s two things: The benefit that we get for people who live here and the people who will come here and see how great Tacoma is. When I first heard about it, I was thrilled to death. It’s awesome.”
On Her Aspirations for Tacoma As A Women’s Sports Hub
“Let’s be frank with one another. Women have not always received the most investment in sports. But here in Tacoma, we’re going to get it right. We’re making investments not just in the sport, but in the women who play the sport. They deserve to play on fields and play in spaces that are just as great as the stadiums that we have built for men’s sports teams. That’s what we’ll do in Tacoma.
On What the Future Holds for the Club and the City
Those of you who know me know that I say ‘we can’t do it alone.’ We’ve got to make this successful together. Let’s all come together. It’s already happening, but let’s make sure that the following in Tacoma is the most successful in the country. We can do that together. I can’t wait to come see women’s soccer at Cheney Stadium.”