“On the jerseys, or the train on the screens at the games, I get a sense of pride and my son does, too.”
Tina Sheaves is a Canadian Football League (CFL) superfan.
“That’s an accurate description,” said Sheaves, General Manager, Special Projects. She’s a Calgary Stampeders season ticket holder, yells at the television when her team is playing and makes the right rules call even before the referee does. But Sheaves has only been in love with football for a short time.
“I love my boy. And he loves football.”
Three years ago, Sheaves’ son Junior, asked if he could play football. She agreed to let him try out, convinced it would be a short-lived interest since most of his athletic ventures lasted two weeks or less.
“He was a chubby little kid. I watched the first practice thinking, there’s no way we’re ever coming back,” she said, scrolling through countless iPhone photos of Junior in his blue Colts uniform. “After that first practice, he came out with this big smile, his face was beet red, he was all sweaty and the happiest, ever. We’ve been at football ever since.”
Sheaves credits her son’s love of football to the coaches and the team. Junior, a running back, is among the youngest on his team of 14 to 18-year-olds and may never even play this season, but Sheaves has no concern for Junior’s imminent time on the bench; she’s happy he’s keeping active.
“The video game was the worst thing invented. Before football, the only thing he exercised was his thumbs.” said Sheaves.
Now, in between practices and games, Sheaves and Junior are at Calgary Stampeders games, getting a firsthand look at CP’s sponsorship of the CFL.
“The sponsorship is awesome,” said Sheaves. “When I see our logo on their jerseys or our locomotive on the screens at the games I feel proud, and so does my son.”
CP has been a proud sponsor of the CFL since 2011, and for the past three years this partnership has allowed us to raise $700,000 for charities in host Grey Cup cities and increase awareness for CP Has Heart. With this year’s Grey Cup being hosted in Ottawa, the CP Touchdowns for Heart program will run all season long to support our 2017 CFL charity partner, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.
For every Ottawa Redblacks home game touchdown, CP will donate $1,000 to the Ottawa Heart Institute. This number will increase to $10,000 for any touchdown at the Grey Cup on November 26. Donations will contribute to fund the institute’s largest expansion in 40 years. The new state-of-the-art clinical space will allow the institute to continue serving the cardiac care needs of Canadians in our nation's capital, Eastern Ontario, Nunavut and beyond.
This year, 10 CFL players, coaches and referees were chosen to be part of our CP Has Heart family. Through CP’s Beautiful Hearts campaign they are sharing online videos with fans about what a beautiful heart means to them; videos are posted on our CP Has Heart Facebook page.
The goal of the Beautiful Hearts campaign is to start conversations about the importance of heart health. By 2020, cardiovascular disease will be the number one cause of death worldwide. Yet many people who are in danger of heart disease can reduce their risk by making changes to their diet and lifestyle. Keeping active on a regular basis is one of these changes.
Junior is now a fit, happy teenager. Being active as a child and now as a teenager, he increases his likelihood of being active as an adult. But for many, having a beautiful heart goes beyond the physical health of its valves and chambers.
Sheaves says, “A giving personality, like holding the door for an elderly person, describes someone who gives to the community, thinks of others, donates their time and resources. A person who does these kinds of things on a regular basis has a beautiful heart.”
Tell us what a beautiful heart means to you and be entered to win our CP Beautiful Hearts contest by visiting cfl.ca/contest. Open to all employees network wide, the winner and a guest will be treated to tickets for this year’s Grey Cup festival and game in Ottawa. The winner will receive airfare and accommodations for two, transportation to and from the festival and the game, and an invite to all of CP’s hosting events during that weekend.
Most significantly, the winner and their guest will learn more about how CP Has Heart and our sponsorship of the CFL is helping create beautiful, healthy hearts across North America. They will join CP and our Grey Cup charity partner, the Ottawa Heart Institute, as we connect with the public during the Grey Cup festival, and will also take part in presenting CP’s donation cheque on the field prior to the start of the final game.
The winner will be invited to recount their experience in a short article for a future edition of Canadian Pacific Magazine.