March 29, 2022

Lions Proud To Launch Indigenous Youth Program To Teach Football, Life Skills

As part of the BC Lions’ continued commitment to the Orange Shirt initiative and building relationships with Indigenous communities, our football club is proud to launch the BC Lions Indigenous Youth Program.

The program is presented by Prospera Credit Union and supported by BC Hydro, Pomerleau Construction, Fortis BC and Leavitt Machinery.

“At Prospera, we’re passionate about supporting all members of our local communities. This includes building stronger, lasting relationships with Indigenous communities,” said TJ Schmaltz, chief people and legal officer and president of the Prospera Foundation.

“The BC Lions Indigenous Youth Program will not only connect Indigenous youth on the field, but it will also enable them to build teamwork and leadership skills they can use and benefit off the field. Prospera is honoured to be a part of helping develop these important life skills in our partnership with the BC Lions.”

The Lions have partnered with Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I·SPARC) to bring this program together.

We are grateful for the continued partnership with the BC Lions in supporting the health and well-being of Indigenous youth,” said Rick Brant, I·SPARC CEO.

 “The training and skill development provided through the BC Lions Indigenous Youth Program will have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of Indigenous athletes, both on and off the field.”

The five-week program will allow participants from across the lower mainland to learn the skills and fundamentals of flag football with coaching from current Lions players.

In addition, program participants will learn the importance of teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership through sport and the game of football.

Added Lions director of community partnerships Jamie Taras: “Sport has the power to transform individuals in so many positive ways. We are very much looking forward to connecting with these youth and sharing our passion for the game of football. I know our players will benefit from these relationships as much as the participants will.”

Following three weeks of practices and coaching at various locations, the program culminates with a tournament and barbeque at the club’s Surrey practice facility followed by a workshop with various life skill activities in Vancouver. During the 2022 season all participants alongside their family and friends will be treated to a VIP experience at a Lions game.

Full practice schedule and participating Lion players:

 Team 1:

Location: Sumas First Nation: 2800 Sumas Mountain Road, Abbotsford

Dates: Tuesdays: March 29, April 5, April 12
Time: 4:00-5:30 pm

Player Coaches: Nathan Rourke, Bo Lokombo, Sukh Chungh

Team 2:

Location: Frank Hurt Secondary: 13940 77 Avenue, Surrey
Dates: Thursdays: March 31, April 7, April 14
Time: 3:30-5:00 pm
Player Coaches: Peter Godber, David Knevel, Matt Guevremont

Team 3:

Location: Musqueam First Nation Fields: 4346 Staulo Crescent, Vancouver
Dates: Wednesdays: March 30, April 6, April 13
Time: 4:00-5:30 pm
Player Coaches: Andrew Peirson, Ben Hladik, Michael O’Connor

Team 4:

Location: Brittania Secondary Oval Field: 1001 Cotton Drive, Vancouver
Dates: Thursdays: March 31, April 7, April 14
Time: 3:30-5:00 pm
Player Coaches: Isaiah Guzylak-Messam, Jacob Scarfone, Joel Figueroa

Tournament and BBQ

Location: Tom Binnie Park (turf field next to Lions facility): 13458 107a Street, Surrey
Date: Saturday, April 23rd
Time: 10:00am-2:00pm


Location: Creekside Community Centre: 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver BC
Date: Sunday, May 1st
Time: 10:00am-4:00pm