Lets play ball! Kitsilano Football League.

Welcome to Kitsilano Football League. These gentlemen are enjoying the game, bringing fun to team and community, and most of all giving back to those in need.

This is a simple story of a bunch of guys coming together on Sundays to play ball – American Football standards kinda ball. They play twice a year.

The first time they turned to charity was in 2012 when they decided why not make this even more meaningful and start a clothing drive.

Next, they raised money for charity for the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, and then it was donations to a local Down syndrome charity. All of these charities spoke to their hearts because one or the other of these tragedies individually, or collectively, touched the team members.

Nothing can be completely accomplished without help from people and community, including our local businesses.

Alessandro (emigrated from Melbourne, Australia), sums it up in two sentences:

 “Moms bring out the gas barbeques to grill up burgers and hotdogs, fans bring out new and lightly used clothing to donate, team members play with heart and soul in every kind of weather, and everyone unites to give-back however they can.”

 “Chewie’s oyster bar closes down for the evening to accommodate the drives, Lulu Lemon donates jerseys, Red Truck Beer is there to support.”

What these guys are doing for our community comes straight from their hearts. For me, I will be on the sidelines over the years recording and promoting what they do so we can all be inspired. Thank you KFL.

There is one charity they are raising awareness about that fills a deep void in our society, and that is jumpstarting kids into sports.

Sports and kids are like food and water, or in today’s terms, video games and thumbs, if we hope to grow a strong and healthy community. Team sports teach team spirit, unity for a common cause, and respect for each other. Through organized sports we connect as people, we become aware of each other as real individuals, we learn to adjust self, we learn to have empathy, we recognize strengths and weaknesses in ourselves and others, we learn to help each other and above all we learn not to judge but to lift up.

We learn to run, catch, play, dodge. We learn to be innovative and creative. We learn to be strong in unity. Together these guys are giving the community and children hope, love, and inspiration while having a grand ole time.

Alessandro said, “Video games don’t have a team, they pit themselves against computers. When you think about it kids are the future, they have to get exposed to team sports and community involvement. Kids lead the way, when they get involved, parents support and become more involved and neighbours are inspired to come watch. Suddenly there’s a time and place where we can all connect as one people living in one community, no matter what part of Vancouver we reside in, no matter what part of the world we arrived from.”

With so many players there are so many stories and I would love to tell a few of them, the reason behind each and every individual.

Did you know the guy who won KFL’s Iron Will Award last year won because he was dedicated beyond expectations? He displayed strong will and toughness in the face of every obstacle. He played hard through the mishaps and a tragedy. He broke his leg and kept playing, he came back and played in a cast. Yeah that’s all heart baby!

Congratulations KFL, I am proud to know you exist.

Here’s the overview:

Local initiative, local charity, local guys on the perfect platform – 60 guys come out rain, snow, and sunshine – playing for their community like no other.

The giveback is organization, leadership skills, team, brotherhood and camaraderie.

Sometimes when life gets too messy we just gotta roll in the dirt and play ball.

Sam.

Most photos above submitted by Josh Neufeld Photography, via KFL Team.

Everyone knows I am a feminist. Unlike what some may think, feminism is not about women’s only issues, feminism is about equality, it is about community.

Samantha McLeod

Vancouver based food and travel writer.

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