Football fans pair up for the Making the Connection CFL Challenge



    Making the Connection and the Canadian Football League team up
    to help fans to take steps towards improving heart health

    TORONTO, June 25 /CNW/ - Believing in the power of numbers, Making the
Connection and the Canadian Football League (CFL) have once again teamed up to
invite football fans to take the Making the Connection CFL Challenge Pairs'
Edition with the goal of improving their cardiovascular health while inspiring
many other Canadians to do the same.
    This year's program allows fans across Canada to sign up for their own
personalized action plan at www.cfl.ca/makingtheconnection as well as enter a
contest to be one of eight pairs selected to win a once in a lifetime
opportunity to improve their overall heart health with the support and
leadership of a CFL pro.
    "Some athletes are under the impression that because they are fit they
cannot possibly have any cardiovascular health issues," said Wally Buono, Head
Coach of the BC Lions and spokesperson for Making the Connection CFL
Challenge. "This is simply not true. Even athletes need to create a personal
game plan to change their lifestyles and take charge of their heart health and
I encourage fans across the country to grab a partner and do the same."
    Starting today, fans can register online for a chance to be coached by a
CFL player and a personal trainer as they take steps towards improving their
heart health. An expert judging panel of Canadian health professionals will
track each pair's progress over the course of the season and select a winning
team.

    
    Participating players include:

    -   Barron Miles (BC Lions)
    -   Auggie Barranechea (Edmonton Eskimos)
    -   Ryan Thelwell (Calgary Stampeders)
    -   D.J. Flick (Saskatchewan Roughriders)
    -   Jamie Stoddard (Winnipeg Blue Bombers)
    -   Nick Setta (Hamilton Tiger-Cats)
    -   Jeff Johnson (Toronto Argonauts)
    -   Pascal Masson (Montréal Alouettes)
    

    Sixteen fans - one pair per CFL market - will be selected from among all
entries by a panel of judges in early August. The judging panel will consist
of representatives from the Canadian Lipid Nurse Network, the Canadian
Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation and the Canadian Society for Exercise
Physiology (CSEP). Fans selected will have the opportunity to meet their local
CFL player and one pair, as chosen by the panel, will win a trip for two to
the 2008 Grey Cup in Montreal on Sunday, November 23.
    Participants will be evaluated over the course of the program by a
standardized measurement system. A change in bad habits, a willingness to
alter current lifestyle and basic health transformations will impact the
pairs' results in the contest. The final step is to follow a relatively
simple, fun, low-risk professional CFL workout routine designed by a personal
trainer to the pros.
    "This year's edition of the Making the Connection CFL Challenge, now
entering its sixth year, continues to connect our fans to their favourite
players and promote healthy, active living," said Rob Assimakopoulos, Senior
Vice President, Marketing and Commercial Assets for the CFL. "It's a
compelling and unique program because it takes the thrill of a player/fan
connection and gives it a solid purpose, focused on positive results."
    For those who do not have the chance to participate in the Challenge, or
do not live in or have regular direct access to one of the 8 CFL teams'
cities, they can still benefit from the program and will still have the
opportunity to win a gym membership or even their own personal home gym along
with everyone else by registering for their own personalized action plan at
http://5step.makingtheconnection.ca.

    About the Canadian Football League

    Building on a strong past toward a stronger future, the Canadian Football
League (CFL) celebrates the best of Canada's game with fans across the nation.
The 96th Grey Cup will be played in Montreal, Quebec on November 23, 2008. For
more information, visit: www.CFL.ca.

    About Making the Connection

    Making the Connection is a program dedicated to educating Canadians about
the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and to encouraging
Canadians to take action to control them. For more information, visit
www.makingtheconnection.ca or call toll-free 1-877-4-LOW-LDL (1-877-456-9535).





For further information:

For further information: Jamie Dykstra, Manager, Communications - CFL,
(416) 865-2664, jdykstra@cfl.ca; Larysa Woloszanskyj, Weber Shandwick
Worldwide, (416) 642-7978, lwoloszanskyj@webershandwick.com

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