Toronto Argonaut linebacker demonstrates commendable attributes of Canadian Veterans
VANCOUVER, Nov. 28, 2014 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, accompanied by Canadian Football League (CFL) Commissioner Mark Cohon, and two Second World War Veterans, Agnes Keegan and Elsley Foulds, presented the Jack Gaudaur Veterans' Award to Toronto Argonaut linebacker James Yurichuk.
The award, named after Jake Gaudaur, the CFL's longest serving commissioner and distinguished Second World War Veteran, is presented annually to a Canadian CFL player who best demonstrates the attributes of Canadian Veterans in times of war, military conflict, and peace.
This year's recipient, James Yurichuk, is a player ambassador for the Argos' White Ribbon project, committed to helping end men's violence against women, and is active in the team's Huddle Up bullying-prevention program. He is known as a fearless special team leader and linebacker on the field. A valued friend and teammate to his fellow Argos, Yurichuk is also a volunteer amateur football coach and administrator who has organized a women's league in Ontario and recreational games for youth in his wife, Daniela's, native Brazil. He champions inclusion in sport, fair play and safe play, regularly speaking to youth as part of True Sport, created at the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.
- Jake Gaudaur is recognized as a Canadian hero. A Canadian fighter pilot instructor during the Second World War, he won Grey Cups as both a player and an executive, before serving as commissioner of the CFL from 1968 to 1984. His story embodies the historic bond between the league and Veterans, one that is celebrated with the presentation of the Jake Gaudaur Veterans' Award.
- The Canadian Football League is receiving up to $70,000 in Government of Canada support through Veterans Affairs Canada's Community Engagement Partnership Fund, for the 2014 Veterans Remembrance Tribute at the Eastern and Western Division semi-final games. The Tribute also includes the presentation of the Jake Gaudaur Veterans' Trophy at the CFL Player Awards Ceremony.
- Since 2006, the Government of Canada has provided more than $13 million, through the Community Engagement Partnership Fund, for projects in honour of Veterans and those who died in service.
"The Jake Gaudaur Veterans' Award is a fitting tribute to the commendable and honourable attributes demonstrated by Canada's Veterans—past and present. Through commemorative events such as the Canadian Football League Awards Ceremony, we honour the strength, comradeship and courage of those who have served."
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs
"It is my privilege to represent our Government at such a special event. This prestigious award is a merging of passions, celebrating a great national pastime and creating more awareness of the extraordinary people who have served our country."
The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
"It is a high honour to be associated in this way with Canada's Veterans, and James has earned it with his brave play on the field, and his tireless efforts in the community."
CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon
"To have my name on a trophy associated with our Veterans is a great honour. The character, strength and courage our Veterans demonstrated is the benchmark for excellence and makes Canada the proud country that it is. This award is a reflection of family, friends, teammates, teachers and coaches who have affected my life in a positive way—and to them I say thank you. Thank you, as well, to the Toronto Argonauts organization which has been passionate about caring for and improving our community."
James Yurichuk, 2014 recipient of the Jake Gaudaur Veterans' Award
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Barbara Mottram, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649; Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468