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Starting with six schools across three provinces, the Nissan Kickoff Project, in partnership with the Canadian Football League (CFL), has returned for its fourth consecutive year to surprise Canadian high schools with the specific support they need to play football. The Nissan Kickoff Project provides high school football programs across Canada with financial funding, equipment, uniforms and motivational events. This year, the program will help nearly 800 students from 16 schools nationally in 12 cities and six provinces coast-to-coast.
“The Nissan Kickoff Project is back for its fourth consecutive year, and we are excited to build on the work that has already been done to give Canada’s next generation the opportunity to learn and grow on a team,” said Steve Rhind, director of marketing, Nissan Canada Inc. “The Nissan Kickoff Project has made a significant difference in a number of Canadian communities, and we are proud to continue providing high school football teams with the much-needed support they require.”
The Nissan Kickoff Project assists high schools that have the passion for the game, but are in need of resources to participate in football. Schools are then chosen in areas where Nissan dealers and, where possible, the CFL and its teams are able to take part at the crucial local level. For the program’s fourth year, more than 23 local Nissan dealerships and four CFL teams, the B.C. Lions, Edmonton Eskimos, Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats, are expected to participate on varying levels.
This year in Edmonton, Harry Ainlay and Ross Sheppard High Schools participated in the event at Clarke Field on October 20. Harry Ainlay defeated Ross Shepard 47 – 0, but both teams came out the victor as they were awarded $5,000 each by local Nissan dealers (Ericksen Nissan, GO Nissan North, GO Nissan South, West End Nissan) members of the Edmonton Eskimos Cheer Team and Mascots.
“The Nissan Kickoff Project will allow our program to replace old equipment with new, safer equipment for our players,” said Tyler Greenslade, coach of the Harry Ainlay Titans football team. “The entire experience with Nissan Canada was first class and our kids were lucky to be selected, as this is a memory that will last a lifetime.”
The two teams came together the following weekend as guests of Nissan for the Edmonton Eskimos final regular season home game vs. the Calgary Stampeders. The players were gifted Nissan Kickoff Project t-shirts and had the opportunity to stand on the sideline and watch the Eskimos warm-up from up close as part of the Toes on Turf program – an experience none of them will soon forget.
Nissan has been the official vehicle of the CFL for 10 years, and will work with the CFL once again to help train and motivate the next generation of Canadian football players through the Nissan Kickoff Project. To date, the Nissan Kickoff Project has donated $500,000+ which has helped support nearly 3,500 students from more than 80 schools nationally in 39 cities and nine provinces coast-to-coast. This year, the CFL will be providing a number of significant contributions including valuable insights, donations of training equipment and special player appearances. The Nissan Kickoff Project is hopeful that this experience will encourage teamwork, cooperation, hard work and friendship, benefitting communities across Canada.
“I’m so proud of the success of the Nissan Kickoff Project,” said Randy Ambrosie, CFL Commissioner. “It’s been so wonderful to be part of this valuable program supporting the growth of our game that gives such great opportunities to Canadian communities. We’re excited to once again bring support, resources, and football to students in this fourth year.”
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