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, MLA Riel
May 7, 2013

Greendell Falcons

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to recognize the Greendell Falcons Football Program participants who are comprised of male youth, ages 16 to 19 from St. Vital, St. Boniface and beyond. In late August and early September, approximately 50 players and coaching staff will have an opportunity to travel to Ireland to participate in the Irish American Football Association's tournament, The Gathering Dublin 2013. The Greendell Falcons Euroteam will play against the Irish all-star team among other games. They will be the only team representing Canada. Not only will the athletes play football, they will also have the opportunity to connect with people from around the world and experience different cultures and friendships. Much media interest in this event is expected, due to its international appeal, and I am confident that our boys will serve as proud ambassadors for Manitoba and Canada.

Mr. Speaker, the Falcons are quite special. Their football program is an original community centre program and is one of only three community centre-run programs in the province. The team includes youth from a range of socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, including Aboriginal and new Canadians, as well as Francophones and Anglophones. Many Falcons go on to a higher level of competition, including the University of Manitoba Bisons football team and the Canadian Football League.

Mr. Speaker, the Falcons Program reaches far beyond sports: it strives to create an inclusive and accepting environment. The Falcons have always found ways to include those who want to be involved. Thanks to tremendous growth over the last few years, the program has attracted many youth who have not been participating in any sporting activities and who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to play. Many of these young men's lives have changed for the better through their involvement with the football club.

Many thanks to everyone who is helping support the Greendell Falcons Euroteam with their trip to Ireland for The Gathering Dublin 2013 tournament. This will be an opportunity of a lifetime. Enjoy!

I would like to read the names of the team members, which include Dominic Audette, Kevin Baillie, Kaden Barenz, Merveille Biaya, Ethan Gross, Cody Holfeld, Daniel Kachkan, Matthew Kobewka, Bryce LeBlanc, Cameron McCorrie, Daniel Norris, Subomi Olukoju, Jordan Pastuzenko, Rigobert Rachidi, Corey Rous, Liam Sawatsky, Travis Stewner, Darian Stremble, Christian Walker, Christian Whitehill, Kalvin Barra, Ciceron Biaya, Hairson Bujiriri, Vedany Cassamajor, Rylan Chackowsky, Trevor Chayboyer, Rejean Dube-Forslund, Myles Irvine, Axel Mangiri, Darian McKinney, Alain Ndegey, Russell Rivett, Braeden Savage, Alix Savard, Alistar Schuweiler, Chad Trnka, and Richard Vincent; coaches Neil Hansen, Clarence Whitehill, John Savage, Chris Cunnane, Chris Hansen, Stephen Coates, Mike Boulloigne, Ryan Gidzak, and Scott Hjartarson and the convener Yvonne Hansen.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.