It’s the Salute to Amateur Football night this Saturday, and the lead up to the game will be filled with fun for the Lions as they make appearances as guest coaches in the local community for the highly anticipated community football nights. Different Lions will be visiting 12 community football teams across the Lower Mainland this week, such as North Surrey Minor Football, South Delta Minor Football, Royal City Football Club, and Coquitlam Minor Football.
For some Lions, the community element has come full circle. Linebacker Casey Chin, who played with Coquitlam Minor Football, recalls meeting some Lions in the past at community football nights when he was growing up. Now that he’s on the other side of the fence, he enjoys giving back whenever he can.
“For me, growing up here and playing community football was a big reason why I got to the level I’m at now, so I feel like helping out at a few practices here and there is the least I can do for what they’ve done for me,” he explains.
One of the many things Casey enjoys about the community football nights is having the chance to meet and mentor players who hope to one day be in his shoes. You could almost say that he sees himself in some of the young players he gets to meet.
“It’s kind of neat to see kids look up to you, kind of the way I looked up to professional athletes when I was younger. It’s always cool, it’s always nice to help them out and teach them.”
The Lions have always had strong ties with amateur football, and this week is a celebration of the bonds that the team has created within the local community. Aside from the community football nights happening throughout the week, the BC Lions’ home game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will also celebrate amateur football in the province with an announcement of the BC Football Hall of Fame inductees, a minor football showcase at halftime, and a presentation of a cheque to amateur football to show the continued support to developing football within the local community.