Thursday, November 24, 2016 — TORONTO – An “unsung hero” was recognized tonight for more than three decades of dedicated service to the Toronto Argonauts, the community and causes that serve youth.
Jason Colero, the Argos’ Director of Education and Community Programs, was honoured with the Commissioner’s Award, presented each year to an individual or group that has made an outstanding contribution to the development of football in Canada.
Colero developed the Level the Playing Field Program which has helped grow and support high school football programs across Toronto.
“Our league has always understood that the causes we champion are just as important as the champions we crown,” said Jeffrey L. Orridge, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League.
“And Jason has been a true ambassador for his team and our league. He has been a tireless advocate for youth.”
Colero has been with the Argonauts organization for 32 years, starting as a mascot, ball boy and locker attendant before transitioning into the club’s community programming in 1999.
During his tenure, he has contributed to initiatives aimed at preventing violence, promoting physical fitness and healthy lifestyles, recognizing community coaches, ending violence against women and many more.
One of his proudest achievements has been the Argonauts’ Huddle Up Bullying Prevention Program, presented by Tim Hortons. Currently in its 16th year, the program has visited more than 600,000 students across several school boards in the Greater Toronto Area. The program works closely with the Canadian Safe School Network to make a stand against bullying in schools and the community.
“There are kids in this city who were despairing, who thought they had nowhere to turn and no reason to go on, until Jason and the Argonauts visited their school,” Orridge said.
“Some of them will tell you: this work didn’t just improve their lives. It may have saved their lives. The winner of this award was picked on himself in school because the was always the smallest. Well, tonight, we all look up to him. Tonight, he is no longer an unsung hero. He is just a hero.”