Napanee Football Program Gets $10,000 in Funding

By Meghan Balogh, Napanee Guide
Thursday, October 13, 2016

A $10,000 donation from the Nissan Kickoff Project has helped the Napanee District Secondary School football program purchase new jerseys.

On Oct. 6, representatives from Nissan presented a cheque to the football program at a school rally.

“Nissan Canada is working in conjunction with the CFL as well with the Nissan Kickoff Project,” said Zermaan Khan, who works with Kingston Nissan. “We’re trying to expand the level of interest in football nationwide. It’s a strong initiative.”

Twenty-six schools across Canada were selected for the project to receive a monetary donation, which teams can use to bolster their programs in whatever way they see fit.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for them,” said Khan. “It’s helping us further the cause, as far as football is concerned. Any school can use as much money as possible. Hopefully it helps them. As they continue partnership with CFL, they definitely want to bolster level of interest in football along with other sports in Canada. It’s really taking hold in recent years. We have fantastic athletes in Canada. Let’s show the world what we can do.”

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a football program at a high school,” said Craig Sindall, one of the coaches of the NDSS football team.

Sindall applied to the Nissan Kickoff program at the beginning of May.

“We applied and they accepted us, and we’ve been planning for three months to get this co-ordinated,” said Sindall. “It’s a great experience.”

Napanee had already planned the jersey purchase, so the money from the Nissan grant will help cover that cost.

Student football players will also get a chance to rub shoulders with some professional athletes, thanks to the partnership.

“It’s awesome. Part of the Nissan Kickoff Program is that we’re paired up with a CFL team [the Ottawa RedBlacks]. So we’re hoping to have some of the players come to a practice, and I’m hoping we have enough money that we can put the team on a bus and take them to a RedBlacks practice,” said Sindall.

Football is an important part of teaching youth beneficial life skills, and to be upstanding citizens, said Sindall.

“There are four police officers that coach with us. They know what’s going on in town, and football is a great outlet for kids,” said Sindall. “It’s helpful to keep them focused. It’s a behaviour thing. They have to behave while they’re football players throughout the entire year. As a football player you should be behaving yourselves. Teach them discipline on and off the field.”