When Carstairs resident Kerry Doyle signed up her son, who is in Grade 8, for football, it was her son who first chimed in that his mom would help with volunteering. Doyle, not shying away from a challenge, did exactly that.
Doyle explained that the HSS Football Association, which brings together young athletes from all the surrounding areas including Carstairs, Didsbury, Crossfield, and Cremona has introduced a brand-new co-ed football team into their ranks this year. The team is starting from the ground up, literally.
The ferociously named Kodiak Tigers have both a junior team (Tigers) and a senior team (Kodiaks). The funds that Doyle is raising through a gofundme campaign will go towards many necessities for the team including new equipment, fixing the football field, as well as transportation to and from games.
"[This] is really important to me. My son wants to continue football for the rest of middle school and high school. I also have a younger son who's only five, but I'm hoping this program will still be around when he's able to play," she said.
In a small community setting like Carstairs, Doyle said that local sporting teams are more than just about the sport itself.
"It gives kids something to do. They stay out of trouble, they build kinsmen ship, and responsibility. It's a lot of things that develop character and school pride and leadership," she said. "I think it teaches kids to fly and to reach for the stars kind when they try out for the team."
She has also been petitioning local businesses for sponsorships, though it has been challenging. However, Doyle said that on Sunday, September 18, the football team will be doing a helmet drive from noon until 3 p.m. at various locations including the Carstairs Tm Hortons, as well as the Tim Horton's in Didsbury as well as the dairy Queen in Didsbury.
"We're going to have the football players in all their gear and they're going to have their helmets and we're going to put a bag in their helmets to collect change; whatever people want to donate, whether it's change or bills or whatever they feel that they can do to help out."
The helmet drive will supplement the funds needed to replace an estimated 20 helmets that are 'expiring' at the end of the season.
Since Doyle's creation of the gofundme campaign, three days ago, nearly $3,000 dollars has been donated to the cause. The ultimate goal is to raise $40,000. She noted that one particularly generous, albeit anonymous benefactor donated $1,500 dollars and even the Carstairs Mayor, Lance Colby has donated as well.
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