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Tiger-Cats Join Forces with Interval House of Hamilton

October 12, 2017 - Canadian Football League (CFL) - Hamilton Tiger-Cats News Release


Unprecedented program aims to bring awareness and understanding of the impact of men's violence against women and girls

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are proud to partner with Interval House of Hamilton's MentorAction 'Be More Than a Bystander Campaign'* in the greater Hamilton area. The program is designed to increase awareness and understanding about the impact of violence against women and girls, and to speak out against demeaning and inappropriate behaviour.

"The Tiger-Cats' longstanding community mission has always been promoting healthy, active, and empowered youth, none of which is possible if a child is exposed to an abusive environment," said Bob Young, Caretaker of the Tiger-Cats. "We're choosing to engage in 'Be More Than a Bystander' which will become one of the pillars of our organization's already extensive community outreach plan, and will be led by Interval House of Hamilton who work on a daily basis with women and children who are experiencing abuse or violence."

The program will feature Tiger-Cats players Courtney Stephen, Justin Vaughn and Terrell Davis, along with Ticats Alumni, Mike Morreale. There are four main components of the team's 'Be More Than a Bystander' (BMTAB) campaign set to launch in 2018, which will be coordinated in ongoing consultation with Interval House of Hamilton's MentorAction:

1. Community Awareness Campaign: A series of public service announcements and customized content from BMTAB trained Ticats representatives to be shared across team-controlled distribution channels throughout the 2018 season, including Ticats.ca and at Tiger-Cats home games. It will also be shared on Interval House of Hamilton and MentorAction websites.

2. 'Be More Than a Bystander' Month - February 2018: This extensive, month-long awareness campaign will incorporate a number of initiatives, including school visits in the spirit of the Tiger-Cats BeFit program. BMTAB trained Ticats representatives, accompanied by a MentorAction member and trained IHOH personnel, will attend Hamilton High Schools during the month to partake in an interactive educational workshop about gender-based violence with the students. The visits will include an emphasis on respectful relationships and what boys can do to safely intervene or disrupt harmful behaviors they witness.

3. 'Be More Than a Bystander' Day at Tim Hortons Field - Spring 2018: In conjunction with the Hamilton District School Board, the Tiger-Cats will organize an outdoor field trip to Tim Hortons Field to engage thousands of high school students on the BMTAB message combined with a day of fun and physical activity.

4. Amplify current Tiger-Cats community programs with BMTAB elements:

- High School Mentorship Program, presented by Coca-Cola

- BMTAB trained Ticats representatives and MentorAction member and trained IHOH professional will accompany a current Ticats player at a specific practice and deliver key messaging for each school participating in the mentorship program (25 schools participating in 2017)

- Coaches Clinic, presented by Turkstra Lumber

- BMTAB trained Ticats in partnership with a member of MentorAction representatives will accompany the coaches and deliver a session at the annual clinic (80 Coaches participated in 2017)

"Gender-based violence is a societal issue and we have been so proud to work with our male leaders and members of MentorAction. The inclusion of the Hamilton Tiger Cats aligning with us on the 'Be More Than a Bystander' program is fantastic," said Nancy Smith, Executive Director, Interval House of Hamilton. "I am so proud of our local sports celebrities and athletes through The Hamilton Bulldogs, McMaster Athletics, and now The Hamilton Tiger Cats, in taking a stand to raise awareness of the impact of men's violence against women and girls."

In 2015, the Canadian Football League instituted a Violence against Women Policy. The policy applies to everyone who works for the CFL - not just players - but coaches, officials, executives and staff, with everyone in the league receiving mandatory training on violence against women and the issues surrounding it on an annual basis. The 'Be More Than a Bystander' campaign was founded by the Ending Violence Association of B.C. who launched the first campaign with the B.C. Lions. In 2016, Interval House of Hamilton brought the campaign to Hamilton and since then has partnered with the Hamilton Bulldogs, McMaster University Department of Athletics, and now the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

About the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club

A proud member of the CFL, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have a rich 148-year history which includes 15 Grey Cup Championships. Off the field, the organization is also extremely active in the Hamilton community, running numerous programs that benefit youth such as BeFit presented by Summer Fresh, Hearts in the Huddle presented by Enercare, FirstOn the Field Flag Football presented by FirstOntario Credit Union, Play Action Performance Combine presented by Pioneer, High School Mentorship presented by Coca-Cola, Kicks for Kids presented by Carmen's Group, and Defensive Difference Makers presented by Findlay Law.

About Interval House of Hamilton

Interval House of Hamilton (IHOH) opened its doors in 1986 as a non-profit shelter serving women, 16 years and older, with or without children who were fleeing violence/abuse. Interval House of Hamilton offers an array of counselling and legal advocacy services. Today, in addition to the emergency shelter program, IHOH now has three community based programs that provide counselling, peer support, legal advocacy and system navigation. Committed to a gender intersectional and inclusive evidence-based analysis, IHOH believes in including the voices and experiences of the women they serve, the community and their stakeholders in how they design, improve and deliver services and advocacy. In 2013, we welcomed MentorAction, a group of male leaders who have aligned with us in standing up and speaking out about ending gender-based violence.

In 2016 Interval House of Hamilton purchased the rights from EVA BC (Ending Violence Association of British Columbia) for the development and implementation of the 'Be More Than a Bystander' program in the greater Hamilton area.

Media Contacts:

Aaron Gogishvili - Director, Communications - Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club

905-730-4691 (cell) | 905-547-2287 x223 (office) | agogishvili@ticats.ca

Nancy Smith - Executive Director - Interval House of Hamilton

905-387-9959 x235 (office) | nsmith@intervalhousehamilton.org

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