Eromosele, Falola, Grymes, Hutter, Kolankowski, Leone and Thomas set for joint CFL and CFLPA initiative

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TORONTO (February 20, 2024) – As part of the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) third annual Mentorship Program, seven players will join the league office for a unique opportunity to deepen their understanding of the business behind professional football.

Conducted alongside the CFL Players’ Association, the initiative builds a bridge between players and the various departments of the league office, connecting on-field performance with the insights and knowledge used to create a successful product for fans and stakeholders at every level of Canadian football.

​(Name | Position | Team/Status)

  • Osaro Eromosele | OL | Free agent
  • Emmanuel Falola | LB | Toronto Argonauts
  • Aaron Grymes | DB | Free agent
  • Scott Hutter | DB | Edmonton Elks
  • Chris Kolankowski | OL | Winnipeg Blue Bombers
  • Richie Leone | P | Ottawa REDBLACKS
  • Jake Thomas | DL | Winnipeg Blue Bombers

“Lifelong learning is at the heart of improvement on and off the field” said CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie. “The Mentorship Program allows us at the league office to spend time with our players and gain their perspectives on all we’re building together and how we can further those efforts.

“At the same time, they will also have the opportunity to explore possible future career paths in a positive environment centred on learning, networking and the exchange of ideas. One day, when their playing days are behind them, they can work within the game and help better it for future generations of CFL stars or translate that knowledge into success in the greater business community.”

The program supplements the work done through the CFLPA Academy – a resource provided to all active and recently retired members of the Players’ Association, as well as their families, to assist in career and personal development outside of professional football.

“We are thrilled for our Academy to team up with the CFL for a third consecutive year, to provide this amazing opportunity to seven current deserving members,” said CFLPA President, Solomon Elimimian.

“As a part of this program, they will gain valuable experience and a great understanding into the business side of the league in which they play. Through the CFLPA Academy, we are dedicated to providing our members with the knowledge, expertise, and tools that are essential for success in their careers after football.”

Participants will join subject matter experts from the league office from March 4-8 for various information sessions, job shadowing and mentorship opportunities across football operations, business operations, Grey Cup and events, partnerships, marketing and communications, data insights and more. Participants will also visit the TSN studios for a unique behind-the-scenes look at how the award-winning CFL ON TSN broadcast connects the league with millions of fans throughout the season.

The program concludes on March 8 at the University of Waterloo’s Feridun Hamdullahpur Field House, where participants will assist in executing one of the league’s key off-season events – the CFL Invitational Combine. Following the completion of the program, each player will be paired with an individual mentor for ongoing advice and guidance on how the program’s learnings can contribute to their careers away from the field.

Olivier Poulin Senior Director, Communications and Public Affairs, Canadian Football League
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