Usually at this time of the year Alouette wide receiver B.J. Cunningham would be busy schooling opposing defensive backs, unfortunately with the CFL season still in limbo that is not an option. What is an option, much to the delight of Cunningham, is the fact that he has the time to be part of Project Playmaker, a program started two summers back by his friend, a fellow wide receiver and former Ottawa Redblack Scott Macdonell. A local product and a Loyola high school old boy, MacDonnell started Project Playmaker as a way to give back to the youth of the football community. “I always knew I would want to do something like this,” Scott Macdonell said. “It was important to me to be involved and give back to the game.” Over the past two summers, Macdonell a member of the Grey Cup winning Redblacks in 2017 has been helping youth football receivers improve their game skills. “Now having B.J. be able to lend his skill set to the program is amazing,” Macdonell said. “He wanted to from the start but his schedule didn’t work with the sessions.”With the time Cunningham has on his hands he jumped at the opportunity. “I was in for sure,” B.J. Cunningham said. “Any opportunity to help out people, especially kids is what I love to do.” There are some 20 participants ranging in age from seven to 22 looking to improve their abilities. “I’m a big kid at heart and love doing the drills right along with them,” Cunningham said. The sessions take place at Westmount Park, Loyola Park in NDG and in Lachine where the players not only work on foot work, speed work and catching the ball but, “The mental aspect of the game,” he said. “I love seeing the skills and commitment to working to improve by the kids. I would have loved to have had a pro help me out in my training when I was growing up.” While the CFL waits in the wings, Cunningham will use these training sessions as part of his workouts to be ready to hit the turf. For now, “we (Cunningham and Macdonell) are have fun and getting to share our expertise and experiences with these players,” he said.

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