Nine CFL players nominated for Jake Gaudaur Veterans’ Award
Annual award recognizes a Canadian player who best demonstrates the qualities of Canada’s veterans
TORONTO (October 27, 2022) – One player from each of the nine Canadian Football League (CFL) teams has been nominated for the 2022 Jake Gaudaur Veterans Award, which recognizes a Canadian CFL player who demonstrates the attributes of Canada’s veterans: strength, perseverance, courage, camaraderie and contribution to Canadian communities.
Presented annually since 2010, the award is named in honor of Jake Gaudaur – a distinguished World War II veteran and the longest-serving commissioner in CFL history – who embodied these qualities through his service to the country and to the Canadian football community.
The recipient is chosen by a committee made up of Robert Loken and Amanda Brazeau of Veterans Affairs Canada, CFL ON TSN analyst and former honorary colonel of the 417th Combat Support Squadron, Glen Suitor, general manager of the CFL Players Association , Brian Ramsay, and CFL Commissioner. Randy Ambrosie. This year’s winner will be named at the CFL Awards at the Conexus Arts Center in Regina on Thursday, November 17, beginning at 6 p.m. local time.
The CFL Awards are a flagship event of Gray Cup Week as fans, media and the Canadian football community gather in anticipation of the country’s biggest one-day sporting event – the Gray Cup. The 2022 Gray Cup Festival kicks off Tuesday, November 15 in Saskatoon before moving to Regina Wednesday through Saturday. For information on CFL pricing and additional events, including dates, locations, purchase details and more, please visit GreyCupFestival.ca.
The 109e The Gray Cup will be played in Regina at Mosaic Stadium on Sunday, November 20 with kickoff scheduled for 5 p.m. local/6 p.m. ET. The sold-out contest will air across the country on TSN and RDS – the Canadian home of the CFL.
THE FIVE MOST RECENT WINNERS OF THE JAKE GAUDAUR VETERAN AWARD
- 2021: Chris Van Zeyl (HAM)
- 2019: Martin Bedard (MTL)
- 2018: Rolly Lumbala (BC)
- 2017: Luc Brodeur-Jourdain (MTL)
- 2016: Matte Black (TOR)
2022 JAKE GAUDAUR VETERANS AWARD NOMINEES
BC LIONS – DAVID MACKIE
Mackie was elected team captain in his second season in the CFL due to his leadership qualities and his ability to be a role model for his teammates. He has worked tirelessly through the rehabilitation process for a toe injury suffered earlier this year and is preparing for a return to the field. During this season’s work uncertainty, the London, Ont., native opened up his gym to players across the league to help with their training and preparation. he continues to do so for U SPORTS players to support the next generation of young athletes. The rear supports The Aboriginal Front Door and the Heart Tattoo Society to help provide thousands of meals each month to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside via a portable kitchen.
EDMONTON ELK – TANNER GREEN
In his fourth season with the team, Green is a hard worker and leads by example. He missed three games this season, but immediately returned to his role as a starter upon his return, starting 15 games. Despite his absence from the field, he continues to lead the team with 12 special teams tackles. The full-back has shown incredible support for Women’s Football Recruitment Camps, Hair Massacure and World Down Syndrome Day events. He ran a weekly football school off-season program for over 110 young football players in central Alberta.
CALGARY STAMPEDERS – RENÉ PAREDES
Paredes is the oldest member of the team and is in his eighth season as captain. He hasn’t missed a game in his 11-year career, despite various injuries and personal losses, including the sudden death of his friend and mentor, Dr. Frank Lodato, last year. The kicker serves as a dedicated leader and mentor for the team’s youth special teams unit. He supports the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, the Educational Partnership Foundation, Special Olympics and the Calgary Urban Project Society. Before each home game, he visits the Alberta Children’s Hospital alongside his teammates.
SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS – DAN CLARK
The 34-year-old veteran team leader suffered a fractured fibula and a displaced ankle bone in Week 2. Although injured, he stayed away from every competition, supporting his teammates throughout a difficult season, in addition to attending all team meetings to share his vision and knowledge. Despite the extent of the injury, he returned in week 17 after a mentally and physically taxing rehabilitation process. It was his second major injury since 2019, when he was thrown from his car following an off-season community appearance. The offensive lineman is an advocate for mental wellness, healthy relationships and anti-bullying across the province, using his own story to inspire others. He is an unwavering leader both on and off the pitch, creating a positive team environment and serving as a mentor for young players. He supported many of the club’s community programs during his time at Green and White, including working with the Red Cross and Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital. Through the Saskatchewan Roughrider Foundation, he supports the Game Changers Playbook – Win with Wellness and Rider Reading Month program, having already visited 20 schools this season to support youth literacy.
WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS – MIKE MILLER
Miller is a soft-spoken team leader, highly respected and deeply loved by his teammates. Since joining the team in 2017, he has led the Blue Bombers in special teams tackles in all but one season – 2018, when he finished second. He only missed four games during his 11-year career. He makes it a point to always be available to help special teams players and coaches when they are not training. The fullback supports the Crunchers football program, the Blue Bombers Boys and Girls Club sleepover at IG Field and the I Love to Read program. Throughout the offseason, he spends time working with young players in his hometown of Riverview, NB.
HAMILTON TIGER-CATS – CURTIS NEWTON
Newton had never missed a game since joining Hamilton until a torn ACL this season. Despite the season-ending injury, he continued to support his teammates and coaches – especially during training – through his rehabilitation process. He fought through early career uncertainty to firmly establish a special teams role and was later named team captain. He serves as a leader, providing guidance and support to young players, while also holding his teammates accountable when needed. He participated in Dane Evans’ Play it Forward initiative and supports Interval House and the Be More Than a Bystander program to help end violence against women.
TORONTO ARGONAUTS – HENOC MUAMBA
Muamba is one of the oldest players in the league with the Argonauts. He is a vocal leader and often takes young players under his wing. He leads by example, but also through encouragement, strength and positivity, while fostering a team mentality. He helped the team transition to new coaches and a new defensive coordinator this season, and he remained an accomplished teammate and professional, despite the challenges of welcoming his third child this season. He has played through pain and multiple injuries this season but hasn’t missed a game. He launched a back-to-school campaign for students who are new to the city or province. He supports MLSE Huddle Up and MLSE Launch Pad, while running two youth mentorship programs – Muamba’s Perfect 10 and the Eagle Vision program. He launched a blood cancer awareness campaign, raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada.
OTTAWA REDBLACKS – BRENDAN GILLANDERS
Gillanders is a determined and vocal team leader. In 2021, he was injured in the first game of his 100e career game and underwent season-ending surgery. This season has been his comeback campaign, and he has reaffirmed his position as a strong locker room presence and influence for his young teammates. It supports young player development, school visits, women’s training camp and the Gourmet on the Gridiron program.
MONTREAL ALOUETTES – LANDON RICE
Rice broke through in 2021 to become a starter, after years as a backup, to become an East Division All-Star and the team’s nominee for Best Offensive Lineman – an honor he received a again this year. He’s suffered several injuries this season but continues to be a committed team leader. During the offseason, he works at his own construction company and continues to support his current and former teammates by offering them jobs. He is a volunteer coach and security guard, while using his unique skills to support his loved ones and the community – building a play area at his children’s daycare.
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