CFLPA names former Edmonton Football Team equipment manager Dwayne Mandrusiak equipment safety advisor

Photo courtesy: Johany Jutras/CFL

The Canadian Football League Players’ Association has named iconic Edmonton Football Team equipment manager Dwayne Mandrusiak as the organization’s Equipment Safety Advisor.

“We are thrilled that Dwayne Mandrusiak is joining the CFLPA to lead our work in defining equipment standards across the league. Dwayne is a well-respected professional in his field and his experience and guidance will further contribute to the CFLPA’s commitment to player health and safety. His advice will help to ensure our members have access to the best and safest available equipment,” said CFLPA Executive Director Brian Ramsay.

Mandrusiak brings a lifetime of valuable experience to the recently established position. He joined the Edmonton Football Team in 1971 and served as a member it’s equipment team for 49 years – including four decades as the club’s Equipment Manager. He is among Canada’s most revered and respected sports equipment safety specialists.

2020 would have marked his fiftieth year with in Edmonton. However, the season was cancelled due to COVID-19 and the franchise permanently laid him off in September, part of deep cuts that allowed the club to avoid dipping in to their $13 million emergency trust fund.

“I am excited to join the CFLPA to support the Association’s proactive approach to equipment safety and to advocate for safer equipment on behalf of players. The players are the most important part of the game and they deserve to be as safe as possible on game days,” said Mandrusiak.

In this newly created role, Mandrusiak will help define equipment standards across teams for players, lead research and understanding of the safest equipment that’s available to players, provide advice that will help inform best practices for identifying, maintaining and repairing equipment, and direct equipment policy and procedures that will help keep players safe.

The CFLPA continues to push for the implementation of new or refined player health and safety initiatives which have all contributed to a safer game. Prioritizing player wellbeing has significantly reduced and prevented player injuries and increased health and safety coverage, while also protecting the intensity and integrity of the game and keeping it entertaining and competitive for fans.

A recent example of player safety initiatives led by the CFLPA and incorporated by the CFL include reducing the number of practices with pads during the regular season from 17 annually to zero. This change has reduced the number of player injuries by over 33% and includes a reduction in man-games lost due to injury throughout the years.