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September 8, 2019

Have A Ball With #TryFootball

The Eskimos will be giving away 1,000 regulation CFL footballs over the next few weeks as part of the league’s #TryFootball campaign.

The program is designed to encourage Canadian youth to play flag, touch or tackle football or just toss the ball around with friends or family members.

“The CFL started this campaign where they’re trying to get kids who maybe haven’t played football before, or are unfamiliar with the game, and bring it back to when we were younger, and you would see people out playing pickup football (in the park),” said Andrew Jones, Eskimos Co-ordinator, Community Relations. “We’re trying to get more people involved, whether it’s regular traditional contact football or even flag football, which is very popular, as well.”

The Eskimos will kick off their participation in the program with a “ball amnesty.”

“We’re going to have people bring in any kind of ball, not just a football, and we’ll trade them a brand new football,” Jones said.

The used balls collected at the Eskimos Team Store at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium will then be donated to Sport Central, which will distribute those balls to children who come in for new equipment, etc.

“I was speaking to Winnipeg on a conference call a couple of weeks ago,” Jones said. “(The Blue Bombers) gave out 700 footballs. They had something similar where they had people come in and sign a pledge saying they would try football over the summer. The Bombers got their footballs a little earlier than we did.

“But now that we have the footballs in, we’re ready to get them out,” he continued. “Hopefully, we get a lot of people into the Team Store and give out these footballs. We’re actually pretty excited about it.

“But we also want to keep a few footballs for the different community events that we run over the season.”

The Eskimos Youth Flag Football League (EYFFL) is just getting started. And a Discount Football Day will feature a free football clinic/practice session for underprivileged youth next Thursday.

All of those events are prime opportunities to hand out new footballs as prizes or simply as a gift.

The CFL will be giving away 11,500 footballs across the country as part of a $3-million commitment to help grow the game from coast-to-coast.

“Fun and football have always gone hand-in-hand,” said CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie. “Our passionate fans have built an incredible foundation for the game, and by delivering footballs to more new Canadians, youth, families and communities, we’ll welcome the next generation of Canadian players and fans.”