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Kelowna  

Local football teams get to work out with Calgary Stampeders

Playing with the big leagues

Sarita Patel

Athletes Learning From Athletes put on an all-pro camp this weekend in Kelowna. With the CFL season being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Calgary Stampeders came to teach coaches and players the fundamentals of football.

“I have a friend of mine that I played community ball at this age that lives out here and there was a big of a need for some football,” explains Corey Mace, defensive line coach for the Calgary Stampeders.

“Understanding these kids are now getting intergrated into their team sports it was still something we wanted to come out here and do - bring some competition, bring some coaching and teaching the fundamentals.”

Mace says this helps keep the CFL alive as they are the future, either they’ll become players or lifelong fans.

Taylor Altilio, owner of ALFA and the special teams' assistant coach for the Stampeders says people have the urge and need to get out after being under strict protocols related to the pandemic.

“If we can give these kids one or two or three things to take away from the week and learn something, that’s the goal for the whole thing,” says Altilio. 

Bo Levi Mitchell understands the power of being an elite athlete and a role model for the younger generation. 

“If you have the platform to help bring kids out, I think you’re kind of obligated to use it,” he said, adding they’re not doing it for the money."

“So far we haven’t made a dollar yet .. you’re spending all the money on the rentals and the shirts and the equipment you’re giving the kids because it’s really about getting out here and getting these kids better,” adds the Quarterback. 

How did the kids like working out alongside professionals?

“You watch these guys on TV and you grow up admiring them and wanting to be like them and now finally being able to stand next to them and learn from them especially,” says Kaelen Berg a defensive end.

“It’s like dream come true, you know what I mean because these are the best and learning from the best only makes you the best.”

“It’s been great. I got a lot of coaching from CFL coaches, to highly experienced coaches and it was awesome,” adds Bronte Gallo, a tight end. 

Mitchell explains how growth and experience can help shape a great athlete. 

“Everyone of us has flaws. At the age that they’re at right now, I was terrible as an athlete. It was something I had to work at every single day to get to here so just letting them know that you’re the same as I was and you have the same opportunity that I did.”

Berg was surprised by how much knowledge and information you can get for a session like this, not only about the game of football but about yourself.

“I never knew I could be this fast, I never knew I could be this good but you know being able to take knowledge from the best-of-the-best really put things into perspective for me and helps adapts and be able to perform at my highest.”

With the success of ALFA’s inaugural camp, they’re looking to bring back in 2021. 



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