Narcisse tells kids to dream big

Matthew
Matthew Gourlie
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Don Narcisse put up a lot of impressive numbers during his 13-year CFL career.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders legend continues ring up impressive numbers even in retirement.

Saturday Narcisse and a number of former and current Riders hosted the Don Narcisse All-Star Event for approximately 130 kids at YaraCentre. The money raised will to towards Canadian Tire Jumpstart.

"The money all stays locally. It's for Jumpstart and we're going to give a donation to the minor league football," said Narcisse. "When I moved back (to Regina) in 2010, the one thing I wanted to do was give back to the community. The best way to give back to the community was through the kids. I'm on my fourth year of having a football camp. This is my first year in Moose Jaw, but I still have camps in Saskatoon in Regina.

"I've raised $160,000 in three years, so I think I'm making a difference in this community."

Narcisse was a difference-maker on the football field as he caught a pass in 216 consecutive games and was the CFL's all-time leader in catches upon his retirement in 1999. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

The camp featured Scott Schultz, Levi Steinhauer, Matt Dominguez, Belton Johnson, Xavier Fulton, Andrew Greene and Keith Shologan.

The players looked like big kids themselves as they ran around and played touch football with the campers who were between the ages of seven and 18.

"I wanted to make sure these kids got an opportunity to meet a professional athlete at a young age," said Narcisse. "When I was growing up I never had that opportunity and these kids are having the time of their lives. They're getting to meet Scott Schultz and Levi Steinhauer who are from Moose Jaw. It's like Levi said, when he was a kid he was in the Scott Schultz' camp.

"I told the kids: If you dream, that dream can happen. We're fulfilling a lot of dreams today."

The camp featured eight girls and organizers were able to get 40 kids sponsored to attend the camp as well.

"This is what it's all about — giving back," said Narcisse. "This is not about a football camp. This is about life in general. You work hard, you have a great attitude, you be on time — you need that in every job that you'll have. That's what we're trying to instill in these kids."

During his closing remarks at the camp, Narcisse let one camper wear his Grey Cup ring and another wear his CFL hall of fame ring.

He told the young players his story — how he only had one college scholarship offer at Texas Southern and how that came after his high school coach called their coach to tell them they had to recruit Don Narcisse.

"I played (professionally) for 13 years and I was never the best player on the football team — I was just that guy who worked hard," said Narcisse who then directed his attention to a person who has shown what a hard-working kid from Moose Jaw can achieve.

"You see Levi Steinhauer there? He's from Moose Jaw. He won the Grey Cup last year. His dream came true. Yours can too," Narcisse told the crowd.

Organizations: Jumpstart, Don Narcisse All-Star Event

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Regina Texas Southern

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