Hamilton Tiger-Cats team up with school board to educate students on social issues, health, history of Canadian football

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Published November 4, 2021 at 10:34 am

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club and Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board have teamed up to offer "Our Cup, Our Community – Lessons and Stories." The Ticats say they will tackle important social issues and teach about the benefits of physical literacy. Students will also learn about the history of football in Canada. (photo credit: Brandon Taylor/Hamilton Tiger-Cats)

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club and Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board have teamed up to offer a unique educational experience.

Students have begun a six-week in-class educational program, Our Cup, Our Community – Lessons and Stories from the Canadian Football League. The Ticats say they will tackle important social issues and teach about the benefits of physical literacy. Students will also learn about the history of football in Canada.

The program, running from Nov. 1 to Dec. 6, is geared towards students in grades four to six and is designed for both teachers and students with no prior knowledge of football, according to the Ticats. The program will culminate just prior to the 108th Grey Cup game on Dec. 12 at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton.

“Our goal is for these students to learn about Canadian football and its history across the country, all while starting meaningful conversations with them around physical literacy, diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Courtney Stephen, Director of Community Partnerships for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats via media release.

“This collaborative effort with HWDSB is an exciting part of our community programming for this year’s Grey Cup festivities, and by the end of it, the students will be ready to watch the big game right here in Hamilton in December.”

The teacher from each participating class will be able to download an educational package that includes a lesson plan with prompts and activity outlines, links to short educational videos, and printable worksheets.

The learning objectives and program highlights include:

  • “Welcome to The CFL” – An introduction to each of the nine CFL teams.
  • “What is a Tiger-Cat anyways?” – Where the name ‘Tiger-Cats’ comes from.
  • “Grey Cup” – A history of the Grey Cup.
  • “Studying Greatness: Chuck Ealey” – A story about courage and self-confidence.
  • “Studying Greatness: John MacDonald” – A story about embracing and celebrating your identity.
  • “Off the Field” – Spotlight on some of the prominent females within the CFL, including:
  • Nicole Demers: Director of Client Retention & Group Sales, Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Current)
  • Claire Toffelmire: Head Athletic Therapist, Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Current)
  • Kirsten Grohs: Manager of Football Administration, Atlanta Falcons (Alumni)
  • Kayla-Marie Tracy: CP24 Host / Reporter (Alumni)

“The ‘Our Cup, Our Community’ lessons not only give students a wonderful opportunity to learn about a game that is close to our city’s hearts, but also inspires them to uphold the values that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats continue to display both on and off the field,” said Manny Figueiredo, Director of Education for the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board via media release.

“I am especially appreciative of our HWDSB Learning Services team, who worked tirelessly to prepare these valuable lessons with our equity commitment. Our students will benefit from these classroom discussions that ‘tackle’ important social issues through the engaging lens of Canadian football.”

After six lessons, students will be shown a prerecorded behind-the-scenes tour of Tim Hortons Field. They’ll see many areas that are generally off-limits to the general public and hear from different members of the Ticats organization.

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