The Saskatchewan Roughriders Northern Football Jamboree attracted more than 100 students to La Ronge over the weekend.
The annual event featured five Roughriders from the Canadian Football League including quarterback Brandon Bridge, defensive lineman Zack Evans, defensive back Ed Gainey, defensive end Willie Jefferson and fullback Spencer Moore. According to Northern Lights School Division Superintendent of Education Mark WIlliment, it’s the first time they’ve been able to host Roughriders at the jamboree.
“We got the stars out, and that speaks well of the Roughriders,” he said. “We were successful in instilling the opportunity of playing football with these young kids and, by the looks of it, we have a lot of kids who want play football.”
Held at Churchill Community High School, students travelled from Cumberland House, Beauval, La Loche, Pinehouse Lake and Sandy to attend. After a pancake breakfast, the students rotated through various stations where they learned new drills. During the training, Williment said the Riders provided advice to the students to help enhance their skills.
Evans said he was excited to be in La Ronge and participates in such events whenever he can. The jamboree included students at all skill levels, he said, but he said the main goal was just to learn the basics.
“There’s some good talent up here,” Evans said. “It was an even playing field, and you can tell some kids excel really fast and some kids need a little help.”
With the Northern Saskatchewan Football League set to begin its sixth season in August, Evans said the northern schools should come together and share resources to develop further. He said sticking together like a community will help the teams be the best they can.
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