The Montreal Alouettes launched their 2019 Subway Ultimate Football Tour recently at Académie Sainte-Anne, in Dorval. This football introduction program without contact for boys and girls is in its second year and returned to Sainte-Anne, where the inaugural campaign was launched last year. Several players along with mascot Touché were onsite for this activity, in which close to 200 elementary school students got to show their skills alongside the Alouettes. “We are all excited for the start of the second edition of this very popular program, to the point where we receive more requests then what we can accommodate,” says Olivier Turcotte, Supervisor, Amateur Football and Projects for the Alouettes. “We focus on amateur football to make this sport accessible and popular. We are proud of our players who are very involved in the community. When we see how much fun young people have, it is very rewarding for us.”
Antonio Pipkin, Matt Shiltz, Vernon Adams Jr., William Stanback, Ernest Jackson, Martin Bédard, Jean-Samuel Blanc, Nicolas Boulay and Jean-Gabriel Poulin answered questions from the students, all while hosting the Ultimate Football sessions. “To us, it is very important to see the smiles (of the students),” linebacker Jean-Gabriel Poulin said. “We get to play pro football, but to get to comeback and to impact these lives is why we got into sports.”
This program will help develop Quebec amateur football by teaching the game in a safe and simple manner. Until May 1, Alouettes’ players will visit 5th and 6th grade students in 75 elementary schools across the province. For long-snapper Martin Bédard, being physically active goes hand-in-hand with education. “This (being physical) is a great outlet for the students,” Martin Bédard said. “It is so beneficial in so many ways. I know when I was in school, I would be more focused after an activity.” This program is offered as part of extracurricular school activities and in collaboration with Football Québec. Running back William Stanback is getting to experience the program for the first time. “It’s a pleasure and great to be out here and meet the kids,” William Stanback said. “It’s a great program, the kids get to use different muscles and skills. For me to be part of this is important because this is who I am, I enjoy presenting a positive image and getting to hang with the students to help them enjoy a healthy, physical lifestyle.” The Alouettes will host these clinics at several Montreal area schoolas and visit various regions of Quebec including Alma, Québec City, Rimouski, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières.