(via Warriors Football Club)
The Bell Warriors Football Club has reached out to Warriors families, supporters and local businesses and the response was better than could have been expected Saturday (January 9/16) at their Team Banquets. Two Club banquets were held. One for the two youngest teams (Tyke ages 8-10 and Mosquito ages 11-12) and one for the Warriors two oldest teams (Pee Wee ages 13-14 and Bantam ages 15-16). In addition to the big day of banquets, the Warriors hosted their 4th Annual Silent Auctions, one with each banquet. In all, the Warriors Club raised over $5,000 which will go directly back towards purchasing new football equipment for our players and ensuring their sport is affordable for all.
“Football has never been bigger in Ottawa. This increased awareness of our great sport has led to a paralleled increase of support of our Warriors football programs. One of our primary goals as a club is to focus on player safety by upgrading our equipment and re-certifying our existing equipment annually. Unlike other sports, keeping our sport as affordable as possible is essential. What we offer our young players is far too important to have financial barriers limit enrolment. It’s a constant challenge to balance. We introduced Silent Auctions to our banquets three years ago and with this year’s proceeds, we have raised approximately $20,000. To put that into perspective, this could cover the purchase cost of over 60 new helmets or registration fees for over 60 player,” says Paul Stewart, Bell Warriors President and Bantam Head Coach.
Stewart continues: “We rely heavily on community support to offer our football programs. Most people do not realize that less than 50% of our proceeds come as a result of player fees. So much of our Warrior volunteers’ time is dedicated to hosting winter conditioning sessions; fielding our tackle football teams and girl’s spring touch football teams. Over the last few years, more sponsors have recognized our financial challenges and have stepped up with financial and in-kind support. We truly thank our 2015 Bell Warrior sponsors:
Gold Sponsors Scotiabank (Richmond); Primo Self Storage; Ontario Iron Works; The Glen (Stittsville); Ottawa Valley Kitchens (Richmond)
Silver Sponsors Yasmin Fues; RCMP Officer’s Mess; King’s Independent
Bronze Sponsors Jill Dulmage; Battle River Bison Co.; Bradley’s Commercial Insurance; Don Cherry’s Sports Grill; Danby’s Bar & Grill (Munster/Richmond); BMO Global Asset Management; Rona (Stittsville); Stittsville News
Friend of the Warriors Mike Polito (Stittsville); Janet & Mike Keenan (Stittsville); Susan & Rick Rabb
Sponsors (Richmond); Grant & Cathy England (Stittsville); David Rheaume (Toronto); 1951 West Kitchen & Bar (Nepean)
The Warriors volunteer over 5,000 hours a year because we are committed to instill the importance learning the value of hard work, respect, responsibility, commitment, sportsmanship and leadership in our local youth. Our motto, ‘Warriors For Life’, represents our dedication to be there for our youth on and off the field and long after their playing days are done.
Special Guest Speaker at this year’s Warriors Banquets was Justin Phillips of the Ottawa REDBLACKS. Mr. Phillips went to Laurier University where he won the Vanier Cup. He went on to play for 7 years for the Calgary Stampeders where he won a Grey Cup before becoming the Ottawa REDBLACKS’ first free agent signing. In his ninth year in the CFL this year, Justin started his playing career with the Bell Warriors Football Club. In 2013, he became the Bell Warriors inaugural inductee into the Bell Warriors Hall of Fame.