As a University, Laurier believes that volunteer experience is an integral part of its students’ education. Through all the hard work our community as a university does outside of the classroom, the university and Waterloo Region communities are strengthened, leaders are developed, and opportunities to apply the in class learning is had in the real world. As a football organization, we agree that volunteer experience is invaluable to our players’ experience here at Laurier. These experiences allow our players to be connected and engaged with the greater community, explore potential careers, learn new skills, and become leaders. The following are just a few of the different volunteer experiences our players are involved in with Laurier Football.
Lighthouse is a centre that supports individuals with developmental disabilities in Waterloo Region. Laurier Football has been connected with Lighthouse since 2016. In that time, the connection between Lighthouse and Laurier Football has and will continue to grow stronger. Regularly, Coach Faulds and members of the team will join the members of Lighthouse for lunch. Lighthouse is also a frequent visitor to training camp. Laurier Football has many fans. Perhaps its biggest though, is Alex Morrison from Lighthouse. Alex is a Laurier Football superfan. He is often part of our gameday experience, standing side by side with all the guys, hyping them up in the locker room pre-game. As of the 2019 season, Alex has been a member of Laurier Football’s Coaching staff as it’s Community Ambassador. In this role, Alex is responsible for letting his fandom shine to all who are willing to listen.
In the 2019-2020 year, the Laurier Football Team wanted to add another community initiative to its roster. We challenged the Laurier Football, Athletics, and overall community to rally together to donate as much clothing as possible to help those who are in need. Our players took this challenge head on, reaching out to family, friends, and their community to join the initiative. Through the efforts of these connections, the team was able to fill THIRTEEN football bags with clothes to donate to Thrift on Kent in Kitchener. In the upcoming years, we look forward to growing this initiative by making it an annual event and collecting even more donations.
Laurier Football is blessed to have many connections with schools in the Waterloo Region. Through these connections we have been able to engage in many different volunteering opportunities.
One of our educators on staff (of 7), Coach Yanchus, began a volunteer initiative while he was a Teacher Candidate at King Edward Public School in Kitchener in 2017. He wanted to be able to provide positive influences for his students at King Eddy. He challenged the team to raise money for the school’s Terry Fox run, a beloved tradition at the school. Coach Yanchus has run this initiative every year since and has raised approximately $750 for King Edward Public School’s Terry Fox runs in total. This past year, 17 players, ranging from 1st year to 5th year – starting QB to scout team player, took the time out of their busy schedules to spend a couple hours talking and running with the awesome students of King Eddy!
For many years, Laurier Football players have taken part in reading programs in local elementary schools. In these programs, our players go into schools, talk a little about their history, how important education is, and take the time to read to the students. Pictured are current Edmonton Eskimo, Kwaku Boateng, and 2019 1st Team All-Canadian, Levondre Gordon.
Similar to the reading programs our players take part in, they also volunteer in anti-bullying programs in schools. In this program, our players provide a little history about themselves, tell stories about their childhood, and preach the importance of being kind to one another. Pictured here are Jalen Price, current Master’s Candidate, Brian Lowrance, and current Edmonton Eskimo, Scott Hutter.