Ticats QB Masoli contributes 15k to initiative that gives indigenous youth an opportunity to experience a game day at Tim Hortons Field
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced Thursday the football club has renewed its Youth Movement Game Day Program, presented by LiUNA, for the 2019 season, which will give hundreds of indigenous youth from Six Nations of the Grand River and the local Hamilton community the opportunity to experience a Tiger-Cats game day at Tim Hortons Field.
“The formation of the Youth Movement Game Day Program signifies the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ commitment to reconciliation in this country,” said John Williams, Director of the Youth Movement. “The club has a track record of helping break down barriers in sport that began with Bernie Custis and will continue with the indigenous youth involved in this program. By harnessing the unifying medicine of sport to drive social justice, encourage reconciliation, and abolish racial discrimination in indigenous communities, the initiative is a monumental step towards promoting awareness of the past treatment of indigenous peoples as well as the ongoing process of truth and reconciliation.”
The Youth Movement Game Day Program includes tickets for indigenous youth, bus transportation and chaperones to and from each game, food vouchers, pre-game field level access to watch warm up, a signed Jeremiah Masoli football card and a Ticats Youth Movement t-shirt. The Youth Movement will help identify the children taking part in the program.
Masoli, the Tiger-Cats starting quarterback, also contributed $15,000 to the Youth Movement and Six Nations of the Grand River to support the program earlier this year.
“As a person of Samoan descent, I can identify with some of the challenges and barriers these indigenous populations may face,” said Masoli. “There are so many people that helped me get to where I am today, and this is an opportunity to pay forward the support I received as an American Samoan youth to support a new generation of football fans and aspiring athletes.”
This marks the second year of the Ticats partnership with The Youth Movement, and the program will once again be presented by LiUNA. Thanks to the support of LiUNA, indigenous youth will have the chance to experience the Tiger-Cats’ game day experience at Tim Hortons Field on June 28, July 13, August 10 and October 19.
“On behalf of the Labourers International Union of North America, we are proud to continue our partnership with the Tiger-Cats to present the Youth Movement program for the second year,” said Joseph Mancinelli, LiUNA International Vice President and Regional Manager of Central and Eastern Canada. “As Canada’s largest building trades union, representing over 130,000 members across Canada, LiUNA is moving boldly and positively forward in partnership with indigenous communities across the country, whether it be through formal agreements with the Assembly of First Nations, First Nation Summit and Aboriginal Apprenticeship Board of Ontario, emphasizing training and education as tools to build better futures, and inspiring youth through various community commitments, but there is work to be done. Together with the Ticats and The McMaster Youth Movement, we are taking necessary and respectful steps forward as a community to celebrate the culture and history of indigenous people whilst advocating for reconciliation and inclusiveness through sport.”