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Women's World Tackle Football Games truly an international event

Players from 17 countries traveled to participate at the Saints' facility

Photos from Day 3 of practice for the 2016 Women's World Football Games. Photos by Lauren Levenson (New Orleans Saints Photos).

Players from 17 countries traveled Metairie to attend this week's Women's World Tackle Football Games held at the New Orleans Saints training facility. 

Out of the 220 particpants, five of them came from Europe for an opportunity to take part in the week of training. 

Quarterback Sidel Anderen from Denmark, wide receiver Oli Davies from England, safety Sabine Wagner from Germany, right guard Mariola Weiser from the Czech Repblic and running back Anna Banhegyi from Hungary spoke about the struggles of women's football in Europe. 

Anderen, Davies and Banhegyi have lived in the United States and experienced the difference between women's football here and in Europe. 

Weiser plans to move to Chicago after this week to play on a team. 

"I gave up everything at home," Weiser said. "I'm just going there to play football and to learn from one of the best teams in the country. "

Anderen and Wagner play on men's teams to be able to play tackle football. 

"Guys have been really supportive," Anderen said. "I have to figure out if I'm going to travel to another country to play women's tackle football."

"During the week I practice with a boys' team that's close to my hometown," Wagner said. "I think that's also a really great experience because it's something different and it helps me develop."

All of the women hope that one day Europe will have the same teams and opportunity that exist in the United States.

"We're really hoping that eventually we could do something like this in Europe," Banhegi said. "So many people from these camps bring back what they have learned.  It's growing, it's tremendously growing in Europe."

The five women value the experience and opportunity of learning and playing football this week. 

"It's the experience of a lifetime," Davies said.

The day of practice concluded with a visit from former Saints wide receiver Michael Lewis. 

Lewis, undrafted player who last year was inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame, spoke about the importance of being determined and working hard for your dream. 

"I love to see that females want to play this game and love it just as much as men," said Lewis, who played in the NFL for 13 years. "Do what you love and put 100 percent into it, you'll get 100 percent out."

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