October 2, 2017

Giving back on the gridiron

Rob Maver spends countless hours out on the football field, but Saturday’s time on the turf was for a very special purpose.

As the team’s official player representative for Crohn’s and Colitis Canada (CCC), Maver played an instrumental role in the first-ever Guts N Glory flag football event at McMahon Stadium. The seven-on-seven tournament raised more than $17,000 for the organization dedicated to battling Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease.

A total of 200 donors made financial contributions including the 69 participants across seven teams of men and women over the age of 14. Prizes courtesy of the Stamps were won by those with the highest fundraising totals.

“It was an idea last fall and meetings started in January,” began Maver, Calgary’s eighth-year punter and CFL all-star in 2012 and 2013. “There has been tremendous support from the Stampeders and a lot of great CCC volunteers like Maureen Wakeford, the former Calgary chapter president. She did a phenomenal job making sure this all came together and, without her, it wouldn’t have been possible.”

Since 1974, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada has put over $100 million towards research, patient programs and awareness campaigns.

The Calgary Flames also provided support for the Guts N Glory tournament as did four of Maver’s fellow teammates, spending the afternoon coaching the friendly competition.

“We are thankful for the support of the Flames through their food truck and with all they were able to help out with and all the participants who came out here to play football and have a good time,” Maver graciously acknowledged. “And for the Stamps players – Mike Klassen, Spencer Wilson, Justin Renfrow and Ante Milanovic-Litre.”

Additional resources were supplied by the CFLPA in addition to extensive assistance from the duo of Maver’s fiancée, Libby, and Wilson’s wife, Maryse, during both the event’s planning and execution phases.

“Obviously the cause is important to me because it hits close to home, but also throughout Alberta, too,” explained Maver. “The highest concentration of inflammatory bowel disease lies within Alberta, so it’s important to me but it’s something we need to help out our fellow Albertans. I’m a firm believer in looking after your own backyard and looking after your neighbour and this is a charity that definitely does that. I’m really proud that we were able to put this on.”