“Amateur football serves as the root of our great game in Canada,” said CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie. “Through donations, team appearances and the #TryFootball initiative, we reinforced and renewed our dedication to delivering football to Canadians in communities from coast-to-coast-to-coast.”
The CFL has totaled nearly $11.5M in support of amateur football since 2017. Efforts this past year included direct donations towards events and programming, as well as, 3,212 appearances by team personnel at clinics, tournaments and football celebrations across the country.
“Our players and coaches are the greatest ambassadors for Canadian football. Their outreach to youth and communities this past year was tremendous, exceeding 2018’s number of appearances by more than 1,000.
“This dedication to the next generation of players and fans is what the CFL is all about – passion for the game and a commitment to connecting with the people who make our league possible,” added Commissioner Ambrosie.
Programs and initiatives in 2019 included, but were not limited to:
- The Montreal Alouettes Ultimate Football Tour visited 75 elementary schools, reaching over 7,000 youth. The program for youth aged 10-12 shared the benefits of staying active, while playing contact-free football.
- On April 29, the Ottawa REDBLACKS and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group Foundation welcomed the St. Mark High School all-girls tackle football team to play at TD Place. In addition, the program’s Women’s Training Camp initiative led by 20 players and coaches taught football fundamentals and raised over $75K towards removing barriers which limit girls’ involvement in the game.
- The Toronto Flag Football League Powered by the Toronto Argonauts was a strategic partnership aimed at developing players and leadership in the sport. The program included a festival celebration day and monetary support.
- The Hamilton Tiger-Cats organized a high school mentorship program which included three player-visits to 17 football teams from Hamilton and the surrounding communities. Players assisted coaches with drills, while also promoting leadership and character development for over 1,000 student athletes aged 15-18.
- The Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ #TryFootball Gym Class Takeovers saw players and coaches deliver free flag football kits to physical education departments and classes around the city to promote a healthy and active lifestyle, while assisting educators in adding the game to the curriculum. The team also donated 1,500 footballs to youth in the community.
- The Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Grow the Game initiative introduced football to individuals who would not otherwise be exposed to the sport. The program’s flagship event invited all students from the five North Central Regina schools to Mosaic Stadium to learn football fundamentals and meet players. The initiative also welcomed over 40 new Canadians to participate in a sanctioned Punt Pass Kick event.
- The Calgary Stampeders worked with local minor football organizations to plan nearly 80 hours of programming on the indoor and outdoor turf fields at the Grey Cup Festival. Over 2,400 youth took part in passing clinics, skill combines, #TryFootball introductory clinics, girls’ flag football games and open play sessions.
- The Edmonton Eskimos, Football Alberta and the Edmonton Public School Board partnered to create the Eskimos Jr. High Flag Football program. More than 550 boys and girls from 20 schools across the city participated in the flag football league, while Football Alberta hosted coaches clinics to assist educators in teaching the game.
- The BC Lions worked alongside the provincial government with the After School Sports & Arts Initiative which involved player presentations at 20 schools in Surrey, B.C., which promoted physical literacy, confidence-building and positive motivational messages for youth in kindergarten to Grade 8.
- The CFL formed a five-year partnership with Physical and Health Education Canada to develop resources to assist educators in incorporating the game into curriculums across the nation. The first edition of the newly-enhanced resource, targeting Grades 4-6, is available for download now. Subsequent editions fill focus on Grades 7-9 (Fall 2020) and Kindergarten to Grade 3 (Fall 2021).