Eskimos kick in $250,000 for Golden Bears football

Edmonton Eskimos make five-year commitment to fund scholarships that will help student-athletes excel on and off the field.


Golden Bears football head coach Chris Morris speaks at the announcement of $250,000 in scholarship funding from the Edmonton Eskimos for UAlberta student-athletes. (Video courtesy Edmonton Eskimos)

(Edmonton) The Edmonton Eskimos Football Club announced a commitment of $250,000 in scholarship funds to support the University of Alberta Golden Bears football program—the largest donation ever made by the Esks to Golden Bears football.

The Eskimos will donate a minimum of $50,000 in athletic scholarships per year for five years. The first annual instalment was made in December, and it is over and above previous donations already made.

"Our vision is to support and foster the development of amateur football. We need to help keep our best prospects right here in our own backyard," says Eskimos president and CEO Len Rhodes. "Our contribution is earmarked for scholarships so student-athletes can remain focused on excelling in both their on-field achievements and their academic studies. As a community-owned team, it's incumbent upon us to help develop leaders on and off the field."

The donated scholarship funds are generated through the Eskimos 50/50 program, which also supports the Edmonton Huskies and Edmonton Wildcats junior football clubs, Football Alberta and the Eskimo Alumni Association's amateur football initiatives.

The Eskimos' $250,000 commitment will equate to $375,000 in scholarships as a result of the U of A's Athletic Scholarship Enhancement Fund. Through the fund, all donations meeting program criteria are matched at one dollar for every two dollars donated.

"Over the past two seasons, in large part due to the overwhelming support of the Edmonton Eskimos, Golden Bears football has been resurrected from the ashes to become an up-and-coming program in CIS," says Golden Bears head coach and Eskimos alumnus Chris Morris. "The Edmonton Eskimos' expansion of this support is a direct reflection of this organization's strong support of our community and belief that the Golden Bears football program is an outstanding place where young men are challenged to meet their true potential, both on and off the field. 

"I want to thank the Edmonton Eskimo organization, as well as both Len Rhodes and Ed Hervey personally, for placing trust in both myself and the Golden Bears football program to shepherd the young men of this community into becoming outstanding student-athletes, and future community leaders in the Capital Region."