On Wednesday, December 9, the Edmonton Eskimos stopped by the AU’s Edmonton Office with a little surprise—the Grey Cup!
Athabasca University is an official partner of the Canadian Football League Players Association (CFLPA) and has been providing university education opportunities for active players since 2014.
The CFLPA is excited about our new partnership which will give our players the opportunity to further their university education with Athabasca University. AU provides our players the flexibility to work around a busy football schedule and the many hours they commit to being professional athletes.” ~ CFLPA President, Scott Flory, when the partnership was announced.
CFL players have been active taking courses since and in the summer of 2015, AU worked with CFL players and current students, Tim St. Pierre and Jeff Hecht, of the Calgary Stampeders to film a series of short videos announcing the partnership. All four videos can be viewed on our YouTube Partners Channel.
Grey Cup week
In November, Athabasca University attended the Grey Cup festivities in Winnipeg, MB. We shared a booth with the CFLPA, providing AU an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about our partnership and the opportunities players and fans alike have to further their learning.
Throughout the four-day festival, thousands of fans lined up to take pictures with and get a signature from a CFL players, including many of the 2015 CFL All-Stars. AU had 1,000 branded footballs made specifically for the Grey Cup and fans lined up to have their keepsake football signed–now to last for years!
Along the way, hundreds of people stopped by to speak with us about the partnership and ask questions about the university and what we have to offer. The response to our partnership and what an accredited online education offers for all Canadians was positive and reinforced the position that AU offers many people—the flexibility of continuing a university education without putting a career on hold.
Education fit for a pro
One of the highlights for the AU team was overhearing a player from the Saskatchewan Roughriders chatting with a fan, signing an AU football, while explaining the AU/CFLPA partnership and the opportunities AU affords him and his teammates. In fact, since the Grey Cup, a number of CFL players have registered in courses with more starting in the New Year.
Athabasca University would like to thank the Edmonton Eskimos team and personnel for including us in their celebrations and dropping by with the Grey Cup. We look forward to working with the Grey Cup champions in the New Year!