August 15, 2021

Every Yard Counts: Program Remains, But With A Twist

In football, it’s all about the adjustments.

Due to the global pandemic, there’s been a need to call more audibles than usual, in everything from training to travelling. The same goes for one of the Stamps’ longest running community initiatives.

This year, the Every Yard Counts program – in partnership with the Alberta Children’s Hospital – looks a little different.

“We missed connecting with community partners such as the Stampeders in 2020,” says Sandy Baggott, Special Events Coordinator with the Alberta Children’s Hospital. “Through the Every Yard Counts program, players had visited ACH the day prior to each home game – getting staff, patients and their families excited about the upcoming game.”


Instead of the large kick-off event hosted in the Alberta Children’s Hospital lobby at the start of each season and the weekly in-person visits, the program has gone entirely digital.

“We are looking forward to continuing this tradition with our Stampeder partners through virtual format for the 2021 season,” said Baggott. “Our hope is to connect patients with players for Q&A, bingo games and other activities over zoom.”

The first online Every Yard Counts visit took place Aug. 6, on the eve of a game day per tradition, with nine-year veteran Jamar Wall leading the charge and accompanied by teammates Raheem Wilson, Ante Milanovic-Litre and Rene Paredes.

“It is important for me to continue with this because of the joy that we bring to these families while being in the hospital,” says Wall. “It takes little effort and time from us to bring a change of pace for them in their tough times.”

“The patients were excited when they found out that some of the Stampeders were doing a virtual visit,” adds Stacy Kelly, special events. “It motivated some of the patients to get out of bed, to share things with the players and gave them an opportunity to have their minds taken off being in the hospital.”

“It lifted the patients and their family members spirits to have the Stamps visit. It was very meaningful to them that the Stampeders took the time out of their days to do that. The smiles on their faces and the conversations that were had were amazing!”

The goal of the 20-year-old program is simple: provide a distraction from the daily routines that accompany hospitalization.

“That’s the main reason I started being part of the program; being able to change a mood by just us being around is a great feeling” says Wall, who takes over the captaincy of the program from former secondary teammate Brandon Smith.

“That’s the main reason I started being part of the program. Being able to change a mood by just us being around is a great feeling.”