CFLers tour Sackville, NB


The young football players who enjoyed the company of the Toronto Argonauts yesterday have but one man to thank.

Mount Allison football manager Wray Perkin set up the Argos trip and came up with the whole idea.

Read More:
[url]http://timestranscript.canadaeast.com/newstoday/article/1050916

“It popped into my head around Christmas time,” Perkin said. “I was watching the NCAA Bowl games and thinking, why not bring the CFL to Sackville for the spring camp?”

Perkin applied for a grant through Mount A, which he received thanks to the Mount Allison Leadership program.

After that, he just put some calls out to see what he could get.

“I worked for the Montreal Alouettes last season as an assistant, so I called them first,” Perkins said. “Then Touchdown Atlantic came up, and we thought why not help that as well.”

Scotiabank Touchdown Atlantic is the CFL regular season game set to play in Moncton on Sept. 26, between the Toronto Argonauts and the Edmonton Eskimos. Tickets were sold out in a day and a half and southeastern New Brunswick is gripping with CFL fever.

The Argonauts jumped at the opportunity to help out with the Sackville community.

“We called the Argos up, and they thought it would be a great way to promote (Touchdown Atlantic), and they sent us two players to help out.”

The players arrived on Tuesday, where they helped with the camp in the afternoon and attended a reception in Sackville. Yesterday, they toured schools in the town and helped out at the camp again in the afternoon.

“It was all Wray,” SMFA President Colin Estabrooks said. “He set everything up, and we let him go.

“We had tried about ten years ago to get CFL players to come instruct at a camp, and it was looking good until it all fell through at the end.

“We figured this time would end up the same way, but we had an open mind and we let Wray roll with it, and he came up with the whole schedule and did it all. He deserves a lot of praise for what he’s done for Sackville Minor Football.”

The results were seen by the parents as well. “It’s very exciting,” Tanya Snowdon said. “It’s a huge opportunity for Sackville to bring in the CFL players.”

“We’ve had good teams here and great infrastructure for this community,” Monica Kaye said. “The sponsors have been excellent. We feel we have national city calibre. Bringing the CFL players here for the camp is the latest of great things for Sackville Minor Football.”

“As football moms we see the impact of hanging out with a CFL player is like,” Florence Rose said. “It’s very exciting for Sackville. There’s a sense of pride there.
“It tugs on your heartstrings a little bit to see the little players being coached by the giant CFL pros here today.”

All three parents are members of the Executive for the Sackville Minor Football Association. They said that the event wouldn’t be possible without the help from sponsors and volunteers in the community.

“We have excellent sponsors that support the leagues and events like these,” Rose said.
“Whether it’s through donations and money to letting parents and volunteers take the time to work on projects like these, we’ve been very lucky.

“Sackville Minor Football has great policies to get kids on the field and to get kids into football. They have the ‘everybody plays’ policy that lets kids who otherwise couldn’t afford it play. We have the equipment donated through our sponsors.”

“It’s a social event for the parents too,” Kaye added. “We get to see our friends as our kids run around bashing each other and having fun on the field. We get excited and get to hang out with our friends too.”

Rose said that it’s amazing watching CFL players up close and helping the children in the community.

“To see the professionals come down and help out and teach is a life experience for everyone involved,” she said. “When I was younger, I didn’t know about the CFL or that professionals would do this. It’s huge for the kids today to see these football players take the time and come down to help them.”

C11
BY Mike Sanderson
Times & Transcript Staff
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Published Thursday May 13th, 2010

[url]http://timestranscript.canadaeast.com/opinion/article/1051003

The spinoff benefits of Moncton hosting a regular season CFL game on Sept. 26 between the Toronto Argonauts and Edmonton Eskimos are already being seen in the city and surrounding region as youngsters in Sackville enjoyed a football campWednesday to gain inspiration and to learn tips and techniques from two Argonaut players.

This also demonstrates the good corporate example being set by the Argonaut organization and CFL; a wise acknowledgement that it must connect and give back to the community as well as provide quality sporting experiences for fans. It is also developing interest in the sport while encouraging youths to be active and strive to be the best they can (whether they ever go on to higher level football or not).

The same applies to the now sold-out league game in September. With thousands of people coming into the city for the event, the economic spinoffs for city businesses will be significant. And Moncton will receive free publicity across the nation as the game is televised, further cementing our growing reputation as the entertainment centre of the Maritimes and a happening place to be that is more than capable of hosting — and supporting — national and world class events.

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