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North Park Has Close Ties to Chicago Women's Football Team

Chicago Force trainers

CHICAGO, IL (March 29, 2007) – The Chicago Force, a women's tackle football team within the 32-team Independent Woman's Football League (IWFL), will play their home opener on May 19 at their new home - North Park University's Holmgren Athletic Complex. During the game, athletes will be tended by the Force's Athletic Training Coordinator Bisi Akindele C'2003 and intern Patty Vogt, a current North Park student.

The IWFL has been in existence since 2000 and spans both the United States and Canada. The Force, which began play in 2003 and claims an impressive 30-10 overall record, competes in the Midwest Division of the Western Conference and plays an eight-game regular season against teams from Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Missouri. The league's season culminates with the Super Bowl, scheduled this year on August 11 in Atlanta, Ga.

Through an exclusive agreement with AthletiCo, Bisi Akindele will begin her second season with the Force this year. Another North Park graduate, Tanya Yaskoff C'2002, worked alongside Akindele in the off-season and helped create a strengthening and conditioning program for Force players. This year, assisted by Patty Vogt, Akindele is spearheading injury prevention efforts as well as on-site response when injuries occur.

According to Director of Athletic Training Andrew Lundgren, employers across the country compete for North Park's Athletic Training Educational Program (ATEP) graduates. Previous graduates have worked with Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer, Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League, and Rockford Lightning of the Continental Basketball Association, and include Brian McCaskey C'82 of the Chicago Bears.

In Lundgren's words, "As proud as I am of all of our athletic training graduates, I can't take credit for their impressive accomplishments. As a program, all we attempt to do is give our students the education and skills to be successful in life. I am incredibly proud whenever Bisi, Tanya, Patty, and any of our graduates are recognized for making a difference in other people's lives."

Although, in her own words, she is "outnumbered 60 to 1" in her work with the Force, Bisi Akindele finds it both exciting and challenging. "The [North Park] program prepared me for different avenues of athletics, and now I am definitely succeeding in the world of women's professional sports."

When asked about her current athletic training education at North Park, Vogt shares, "[It] has definitely influenced me and enabled me to do what I am doing today with the Chicago Force… I am honored to be able to work with the Chicago Force. It will definitely help me in my studies, as well as reinforce what I've been learning in class." When asked about her short commute to home games this season, she notes, "It will be nice to work so close to home and to be at a familiar facility."

Prior to their May 19 game against the Detroit Demolition, the Force will play an exhibition game at the Sears Centre during halftime of the Chicago Storm soccer game on March 31 and kick off their season on April 28 on the road against the Iowa Crush.

For ticket information, click here or call the Force hotline at (312) 405-4130.