A group of indigenous youth from Six Nations took part in a sports camp at McMaster. Between throwing touchdowns and scoring goals, they were learning about how sports could shape their future.
At first glance, it looks like your routine summer sports camp but thanks to ex CFLer John Williams, it’s much more than that.
Williams produced the documentary ‘Gridiron Underground’ which aired on CHCH and chronicled the stories of African American football players heading north for the chance to play professionally in the 40’s and 50’s.
Now he’s helping another group by hosting a sports camp for local indigenous youth at McMaster.
“I actually see a lot of similarities between our indigenous communities and African American communities where they were in the 50’s and 60’s. It’s all about getting opportunities regardless of what my background is”.
These kids from Six Nations got their hands and feet on some of the sports they love and were introduced to some new ones.
“Rugby is one of the most inclusive sports I have ever seen or played, they have something for everyone, doesn’t matter what size or speed you are”.
The kids walked away not just understanding the importance of sport on the field, but off of it as well.
While the sports camp was a one day event, it’s just part of a year long program at McMaster called the “youth movement”.
That aims to educate, empower and connect with indigenous athletes in the area in hopes of sparking interest in university education and hopefully suiting up for the Maurauders in the future.