9 participants join Diversity in Football Program presented by Securian Canada

TORONTO — Nine participants have been handpicked by Canadian Football League (CFL) clubs for the third annual Diversity in Football Program presented by Securian Canada. One participant from a diverse cultural background will join each team’s football operations department for approximately four weeks, including training camp from May 12 to June 1.

“The growth of our game requires different perspectives to introduce new possibilities and to connect with more people,” said CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie. “We’re continuing to lay these foundations for change with our tremendous partners at Securian Canada, and while there’s always more to do, I know we’re building something positive and worthwhile.

“We’re grateful to our participants for their efforts and expertise. At the conclusion of this year’s program, I know they’ll return to their home communities with all they’ve seen and learned, and they’ll continue to grow our great game across the country.”

» Diversity is Strength: Catch up on videos, podcasts, and stories
» 2024 cohort set for Women in Football Program presented by KPMG 
Listen: Diversity is Strength Conversations podcast

Through the program, participants will gain knowledge and practical experience working in professional football.

“We’re thrilled to be the official life insurance partner of the CFL and its Diversity in Football Program for a second consecutive year,” said Nigel Branker, CEO of Securian Canada. “The CFL’s vision to lay the groundwork for a more inclusive workplace is closely aligned with our values at Securian Canada to set an example for DEI in corporate Canada and take tangible actions to support underserved communities. We’re excited for this year’s participants to be immersed in a one-of-a-kind career development experience and the pathways it will create for their futures.”

Nathan Taylor created a lasting impression during his time with the Ottawa REDBLACKS during the Diversity in Football Program, and the team went on to hire him as their Running Backs Coach.

Additional information about the program, including eligibility requirements for applying in the future, are available here.

​(Team: Name | Area of focus | Hometown)

  • Montreal: Jean-Samuel Blanc | Coaching | Montreal
  • Ottawa: Isaiah Johns | Coaching | Windsor, Ont.
  • Toronto: Samuel Okanlawon | Video | Vancouver
  • Hamilton: Savannah Allen | Football Operations | Mississauga, Ont.
  • Winnipeg: Mark Surya | Coaching | Burlington, Ont.
  • Saskatchewan: Ventson Donelson | Coaching | Regina
  • Calgary: Christopher Anstey | Coaching | Calgary
  • Edmonton: Ingi El Shahid | Football Operations | Montreal
  • BC: Susan Lam | Athletic Therapy | Calgary
The comment system on this website is now powered by the CFL.ca Forums. We'd love for you to be part of the conversation; click the Start Discussion button below to register an account and join the community!