Football Canada unites stakeholders for national football summit

Photo courtesy: Jim Mullin

Canadian leaders in football are coming together for a two-part Canadian Football Summit Meeting Series.

The first of the two-discussion series will be held remotely throughout the month of October. Stakeholders have identified five key areas of focus for the initial series of discussions. Within each area of focus, the group will review the current state of the game and collaboratively identify and explore key opportunities to further grow and develop the sport.

Leadership from Football Canada, the Canadian Football League (CFL), the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL), U Sports and leadership from the Canada West, OUA, RSEQ and AUS have confirmed their participation for the first of the two-round meeting series.

“We have the opportunity to do something which is long overdue and that’s to bring this game together as a unified force. I get the sense from the isolation of phone and Zoom calls we are all sharing, that the desire to work cooperatively is at an all-time high,” Football Canada president Jim Mullin said.

“We have a unique opportunity for the sport to emerge with a renewed energy, organization and purpose. I want to ensure football is ready for Canadians when we fully step back into our communities and the game.”

The second set of talks will seek further detailed discussion and alignment on female tackle football, high school football, flag football, specific diversity issues and regional relationships. The second round will follow a similar format and will run over two weeks early this winter.

“We are thrilled to participate in these discussions surrounding the sport of football in Canada,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said. “This aligns with the CFL’s Try Football strategy and we look forward to working with the football organizations from around the country to build a better game for everyone.”

Key topics that will be on the agenda this month include:

1. Programming and New Engagement

Focus on enhancing, supporting, and promoting the existing grass roots youth football programming being delivered across the country, while also exploring ways to further introduce the game of football — contact and non-contact — to new populations of youth. The group will also discuss paths to coaching, officiating and diversity.

2. Competitions and Events

The group will review the current calendar of Canadian Football events and discuss opportunities to align operations that will build stronger revenue streams, increase media attention and broaden audiences.

3. International

Discussions will focus on how the Canadian Football ecosystem can further align to solidify Canada’s position as global leader in the sport while also supporting the globalization of the game.

4. Information and Visibility

Stakeholders will address opportunities to enhance the promotion and recognition of Canadian Football endeavours.

5. Alignment

Leaders will assess the possibility of streamlining and standardizing various processes to create resources that are beneficial to multiple parties.

This marks the first Football Summit Series since 2006.