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As football season draws near, the Stamps have flagged down a valuable opportunity to broaden their community impact.
The team has partnered with former Red and White offensive lineman Rohn Meyer to launch The Flag League, a local non-contact football program catered towards the grassroots level.
Prior to the creation of The Flag League, Meyer – along with fellow University of Calgary Dinos alumni Jason Assen and Craig Harrison – launched Sigma Football back in 2013 for boys and girls looking to improve their football fundamentals in a safe and confidence-building environment.
“We started the program five years ago when Craig’s and Jason’s kids were just beginning their minor-football careers,” said Meyer, whose professional playing career in Calgary spanned from 1996-99. “They didn’t have the greatest experiences when they were committed to other sports – hockey and basketball – but the commitment to full-contact minor football was a little too much for them. They still loved football and they still wanted to do something. So we created Sigma Football at that time, which was basically just football development and athletic development.”
Recent discussions with Stampeders executives led to the Red and White coming on board in support of The Flag League, open to boys and girls between the ages of eight and 16 regardless of skill level or prior knowledge of the game.
“Basically we were talking about what we were doing and the Stamps had mentioned that they wanted (to increase their involvement with) grassroots football in Southern Alberta and Calgary especially,” Meyer recounted. “We talked about transitioning Sigma into more of a flag football league and it was kind of aligned with what we were thinking about even last year a little bit. So it’s the perfect partnership.”
Those interested in joining The Flag League are encouraged to visit theflagleague.com. In addition, Stamps season-ticket holders will soon be emailed a link with a special registration discount.
Currents members of the Dinos football squad have been tasked with coaching the teams within various divisions. Practices for the 500 participants will be scheduled at Shriner’s Field and games will take place at Shouldice Athletic Park.
“Throughout my life, I’ve always been involved in the community and giving my time back, whether it was coaching or with the Stamps when we would go and play basketball and those types of things that they still do,” revealed Meyer, who won a Grey Cup championship with the Stampeders back in 1998. “Contact football is not for everyone and you don’t need to play contact football at a young age in order to be great at it as an adult. We just want kids to enjoy football and be in a team environment with some fun structure and then learn some skills.”