Toronto Argonauts safety Willie Pile was awarded the Gord Barwell Award at the 32nd annual Athletes in Action Grey Cup Breakfast, held Saturday, November 27 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton. The presentation was celebrated by the 950 people in attendance.
Nominees for the 2010 Barwell Award were Arjei Franklin (Calgary), Keith Shologan (Saskatchewan) and Pile. The Gord Barwell Award is presented each year to a CFL player who exhibits exemplary Christian conduct and leadership both on and off of the field.
The award is named after legendary receiver, the late Gord Barwell of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who helped establish the ministry of Athletes in Action throughout the CFL. AIA continues to provide a chaplain for each of the CFL teams.
Other CFL players who have won the Barwell Award in the past include Milt Stegall, Michael “Pinball” Clemons, Kerry Joseph, Joe Montford, Darryl Sampson and Tracy Ham.
“AIA is extremely proud to present the Barwell award to Willie Pile,” says AIA’s Herbie Kuhn, who also serves as the Argos’ chaplain. “Willie has demonstrated leadership skills by encouraging teammates to attend our Bible study activities and he played a vital participatory role in the Argos’ Real Deal event in early October. He maintains a positive attitude even during challenging times, refusing to remain downcast for long, if at all. He exemplifies the joy of Christ and the desire to want to constantly improve, even after a disappointing loss. Committed to his family, Willie has worked hard to remain in constant communication with his wife and son, while he has been playing in Toronto.”
The AIA Grey Cup Breakfast is organized every year by the host city’s local Athletes in Action chapter. Since 1977, AIA has had a positive influence on the lives of thousands of people. AIA works with the athletic world from children’s camps to professional locker rooms sharing a message of hope, a positive lifestyle and lasting values. The goal of Athletes in Action is to assist professional athletes develop into positive influencers in the lives of others. For more information, visit www.athletesinaction.com.