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Two of Canada’s leading football stakeholders have aligned to focus on the sport’s growth, learning, and safety opportunities. Football Canada and the Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) are proud to announce a new partnership designed to foster football development and growth in Canada over the next three years.

“The game of football has been life-changing for most CFLPA members, including myself, because it develops not only athletic skill but also character, fosters teamwork, and forges long-lasting relationships. This is an exciting opportunity to partner with Football Canada as we work together over the coming years to grow the game and get more youth in Canada learning and playing football,” said Solomon Elimimian, CFLPA President.

The first step in the strategy is a project focused on youth, aged 4 to 8 years old. The Football Canada First Down program gets kids their first interaction with the game of football over eight sessions. The CFLPA and Football Canada will conduct one-day First Down sessions during Football Weekend in Canada from September 16 through 18th. Dates, times, and locations will be announced throughout August. The one-day event is free of charge.

First Down requires no previous football experience, and it was developed as an excellent non-contact introduction to the basics of the sport.

“It’s our goal to get a record number of kids exposed to the sport for the first time during Football Weekend in Canada,” said Football Canada president Jim Mullin. “I can’t think of a better way for our sport to be introduced to kids and their families than with a CFLPA Ambassador participating in the instruction of the First Down program.”

In addition to this first initiative, the CFLPA and Football Canada have committed to partnering on programming for coaching certification for current CFLPA members, sport-wide safety initiatives, and promoting the sport through Football Canada events to grow the game. The Canadian football community can expect more announcements from this partnership in the coming months.

“Throughout our discussions with Football Canada over the last two years, we have found that we share much in common. Both organizations share a passion for the game and are focused on growing football while centering on the athletes’ well-being. We know we can do a lot more by working together.” Brian Ramsay, Executive Director, CFLPA.

For more information:

Football Canada

Jim Mullin,




Jason Langvee,

CFLPA Office,