The Calgary Stampeders are dedicated to the community, with grassroots and amateur football being a major area of interest and focus.
From the little guys in Tim Hortons’ Timbits program to the big boys of the University of Calgary Dinos and the Calgary Colts juniors, the Stamps are big supporters of football players and teams throughout Calgary and Southern Alberta.
>> Stamps donate $400,000 to amateur football
The Stampeders are proud supporters of the Dinos Football 5th Quarter organization.
Many players who have starred at McMahon Stadium as members of the Dinos have later become members of the Stamps.
Beginning with offensive lineman/linebacker Craig McLeod in 1971, 38 Dinos have gone on to play with the Stampeders. From the time McLeod joined the Red and White in 1971, there has been at least one Dino on the Stamps roster in every year, with the exception of the 2000 season.
Twelve U of C alumni who played for the Stampeders captured Grey Cup titles while in uniform for the Red and White.
A member of the Prairie Football Conference, the junior Colts have produced a number of Stampeders players.
The junior football program is one of two major beneficiaries of 50/50 ticket sales at every Stampeders home game, with the money being directed through the Stampeders Foundation. The Stamps also support the Colts at their annual banquet.
In addition, select Colts players get the opportunity to practise with the Stampeders throughout the course of the CFL season.
The Stampeders actively support high school in a number of ways.
As part of a desire to ensure optimum safety for players, Stamps equipment manager George Hopkins volunteers his expertise and time to inspect amateur teams’ equipment and ensure it is in proper working order.
The club also donates uniforms and equipment to high school and minor football teams and joins forces with the officials to provide game balls for championship contests.
The Stampeders’ video department works extensively with the Calgary Senior High School Athletic Association. The Stampeders film all high school games played, facilitate game-film exchange between teams and provide and maintain support for Hudl, an online viewing, editing and scouting platform for use by coaches and players.
The Stamps video department provides the best possible film and tools for high school coaches.
The Stampeders football club is a proud sponsor of The Stan Schwartz Heart of a Champion Award, which is presented annually to three Calgary high school football seniors who display important life skills such as determination, pride, perseverance, dedication, leadership and integrity through their pursuit of excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
As is the case with high school football, the Stampeders offer equipment inspection for minor football teams and also donate equipment to local associations.
Along with the Colts, the Calgary bantam football program is the other major beneficiary of proceeds from 50/50 ticket sales at Stampeders home games.
A major endeavour in recent years was the Shouldice Park facility enhancement project in conjunction with the Greater Calgary Amateur Football Association. The Stampeders donated $500,000 to the project and Ted Hellard, then the Stamps’ co-owner, personally donated another $500,000. The Shouldice Park complex now features Stampeders Field and Hellard Field.
The Stampeders video department provides offers its services to minor football teams, including providing an extra camera angle for a featured midget game of the week starting in 2014.
Stampeders players regularly attend minor football events and even occasionally serve as guest coaches.