April 18, 2024

The club releases Community Impact Report

Not all the Winnipeg Blue Bombers touchdowns, highlight plays and good deeds came on the football field in 2023.

The club released its first ‘Community Impact Report’ today with the document outlining all the work the team did in events and visits all over the province in the previous year.

This year, we are proud to present an extensive overview of the positive and growing work our team has undertaken in the community,” said President & CEO Wade Miller in a statement. “With the growing number of events, youth camps, training seminars, and community outreach programming, it felt necessary to give our work in the community its own moment to shine.”

Among the highlights from the report:

-The club participated or hosted over 200 community events in 2023.

-In partnership with more than 40 organizations, the football club donated over 600 tickets to those who might not have had the opportunity to attend a game.

-The club operated seven different youth football programs that saw over 1,360 kids participate. Those programs included the ‘Blue Bombers Futures Kick-Off’, ‘Blue Bombers Try Football’, Blue Bombers Girls Play Football’, the ‘Blue Bombers Academy’, the ‘Winnipeg Youth Football Club’, ‘Junior Bombers Football Skills Camp’ and ‘Blue Bombers Kick-Off.’

-The club held 11 football camps in which there were 3,727 participants, including 894 with no previous football experience.

-The club continues to be a leader in honouring the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation through the work of the Exchange Income Corporation and the help of the team’s Director of Indigenous Relations, Niigaan Sinclair. Last September the club welcomed 1,200 individuals from Indigenous communities in Manitoba and Northern Ontario to the club’s now annual ‘Orange Shirt Game’ in recognition of the ‘Every Child Matters’ movement and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

-Further to that, the club travelled to four northern Indigenous Communities in Shamattawa, Nisichawayasihk, O-Pipon-Na-Piwin and Oxford House in March and April to visit students and teach football skills.

-The Blue Bombers Women’s Club – hosted by Holly Jefferson – had a significant impact, with over 3,000 members involved.

-Working to give access to proper equipment to aspiring players, the Blue Bombers provided over $350,000 in equipment donations to organizations and schools, including 675 new and certified helmets to over 25 programs.

-The Blue Bombers offer five awards and scholarships, including the Scott Naujoks Memorial Coaching Award, the Gord Mackie Memorial Scholarship for the practical development of athletic therapists, the Bob Irving Scholarship for a full-time broadcast journalism student, the Jack Jacobs Scholarship, awarded annual to two Indigenous youth and the Samantha Mason Friendship Award for students working to eliminate bulling ‘by embracing kindness and helping to stand up for others.’

-The club also presents a High School Game of the Week from September through October where the winning team receives a $1,500 grant and the losing team $500 for their programs. As well, the team sponsors the Bud Grant Coach of the Week Award, with the winner receiving a $500 donation to their program and a $100 Bomber Store gift card.

-The Blue Bombers held their inaugural Blue & Gold Showcase featuring the top 200 U-16 and U-18 players in a game which was played front of over 3,000 fans.
-The Blue Bombers remain actively involved in ‘I Love to Read’ month, with players and mascots Buzz and Boomer attending over 30 schools and reading to more than 7,000 students.

-Blue Bombers staff participate in monthly packing parties at the Peak of the Market warehouse, helping to pack and deliver 160 boxes of vegetables to organizations in need, with the initiative reaching over 1,400 families in just one day.

-The club hosted the ‘Dream by Dufresne’ at the Stadium, where 30 new Canadian children were given tours of the locker room, given jerseys and merchandise, a chance to play on the field before a pizza party and then a surprise new bed from which they could watch a movie on the big screen in the stadium.

-The Dream Factory Meet & Greet saw the team welcome over 40 families with kids battling life-threatening illnesses tour the stadium, watch practice, and get autographs and meet players afterwards.

Finally, the club wishes to extend its gratitude to its many partners and fans who make this impact in the community possible, stating ‘the club takes immense pride in its ability to give back to the community and remains dedicated to furthering community engagement efforts and making a lasting difference in the years to come.”