Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Dane Evans launch ‘Play it Forward’ initiative in support of Indigenous youth

Photo courtesy: Ryan McCullough/Ticats.ca

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats and franchise quarterback Dane Evans have launched a new initiative called ‘Play it Forward’ to provide support for youth from local Indigenous communities.

Evans, who is of Wichita descent, hopes the program can inspire and empower Indigenous youth.

“My parents instilled in me the importance of paying it forward and it’s something I’ve always tried to prioritize, specifically with the youth,” said Evans in a statement. “I hope the kids come out, have a great time and they too can realize the importance of paying it forward, regardless of who you are or how successful you may be.”

Play it Forward will provide 20 tickets for Indigenous youth to attend each of the Ticats’ nine regular season home games this year with sideline access to watch pregame warmups. Hamilton is scheduled to play its home-opener on Saturday, June 18 against the visiting Calgary Stampeders.

Evans will also invite 100 youth from Indigenous communities to Tim Hortons Field for Play it Forward Day on July 5, which will include activities and games on the field as well as the opportunity to interact with Evans and his Ticats teammates. Transportation to and from the event and a Play It Forward t-shirt will be provided for all the youth who attend.

“LiUNA is proud to partner with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to present the Play It Forward program in strong support of our Indigenous communities. The program will advance opportunities and provide unique local experiences for hundreds of Indigenous youth, inspiring and empowering through the power of sport,” said LiUNA executive Joseph Mancinelli.

“On behalf of LiUNA we know firsthand how important mentorship is in strengthening opportunities for youth, eliminating barriers to reach their full potential and building strong, inclusive communities. We look forward to kicking off the program and welcoming you to the stadium together with Dane Evans and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats!”