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PHOTOS: BC Lions players coach Indigenous youth flag football in Surrey

Tom Binnie Park is where the action was Sunday
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Players at the BC Lions’ Indigenous Youth Program (IYP) flag football tournament at Tom Binnie Park in Surrey on Sunday, April 28. (Contributed photo: Steven Chang/BC Lions)

This story has been updated

Several BC Lions players coached flag football games at a Surrey park on Sunday, April 28.

The CFL team’s Indigenous Youth Program (IYP) tournament capped three weeks of practices at fields across the Lower Mainland.

Sunday’s action at Tom Binnie Park (10605 City Parkway, next to the Lions’ training facility) ran from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lions players involved as coaches were Josh Archibald, Sukh Chungh, Michael Couture, Ben Hladik, Bo Lokombo, Justin McInnis, Manny Rugamba, Marcus Sayles and Sean Whyte.

Launched in 2022, the Indigenous Youth Program aims to teach football and life skills to Indigenous youth in the region, as part of the Lions’ Orange Shirt initiative.

• STORY/PHOTOS from 2023: In Surrey, Indigenous teens learn flag football, life skills from BC Lions players

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Players at the BC Lions’ Indigenous Youth Program (IYP) flag football tournament at Tom Binnie Park in Surrey on Sunday, April 28. (Contributed photo: Steven Chang/BC Lions)
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Players at the BC Lions’ Indigenous Youth Program (IYP) flag football tournament at Tom Binnie Park in Surrey on Sunday, April 28. (Contributed photo: Steven Chang/BC Lions)
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Players at the BC Lions’ Indigenous Youth Program (IYP) flag football tournament at Tom Binnie Park in Surrey on Sunday, April 28. (Contributed photo: Steven Chang/BC Lions)
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Players at the BC Lions’ Indigenous Youth Program (IYP) flag football tournament at Tom Binnie Park in Surrey on Sunday, April 28. (Contributed photo: Steven Chang/BC Lions)
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Players at the BC Lions’ Indigenous Youth Program (IYP) flag football tournament at Tom Binnie Park in Surrey on Sunday, April 28. (Contributed photo: Steven Chang/BC Lions)

Last spring, close to 60 kids got involved on teams based in Surrey, Chilliwack and Vancouver. Four teams were created for the 2023 tournament, including the Dawgs of Surrey’s Frank Hurt Secondary. Three Lions players were assigned to coach each team.

The IYP is championed by Jamie Taras, the Lions’ director of community partnerships.

“We once again had a very rewarding and fulfilling experience in connecting with these youth and sharing our passion for the game of football,” Taras said.

“Sport has the power to transform individuals in so many positive ways. I know our players have enjoyed benefiting from these relationships as much as the participants. We thank all of our partners as well as ISPARC (Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council) for their support in making this happen.”

Business partners in the program include Prospera Credit Union, BC Hydro, Liuna! Local 1611, Pomerleau Construction, Fortis BC and Leavitt Machinery.



Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news for Surrey Now-Leader and Black Press Media
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