March 10, 2020

Helping Youth Score a Touchdown With Peel Regional Police

TORONTO – Peel Regional Police and the Toronto Argonauts are proud to announce a collaboration on a program that motivates at-risk youth to achieve new levels of success.

Life for at-risk youth is like a football team making its way down the field. They will experience obstacles and setbacks as they work towards the “end zone”, which is where their goals in life await. Reaching those goals, like scoring a touchdown, requires hard work, determination, and making good decisions along the way.

The Touchdown Program is a product of a shared commitment by Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah and Argos GM Michael “Pinball” Clemons to help youth in our community. The Touchdown Program brings Argos players together with young people to provide critical guidance and positive messaging through their lived experiences. By hearing stories straight from sports role models, kids will learn how hard work and determination can help them to achieve their goals and reduce the risks of falling into bad company and criminal activity.

This year, Argos stars Llevi Noel and Kurleigh Gittens Jr. will be ambassadors for the program. The Players will partner with a Community Mobilization Officer who is responsible for identifying issues in the neighbourhoods they patrol. The player and officer will work together to develop strategies and attend events where they will share their lived experiences about overcoming challenges and how living positive lifestyles and making good choices has helped them achieve their goals.

“I’m pleased to announce this partnership between the Toronto Argonauts and Peel Regional Police. I’m especially thrilled to be working with my good friend, the legendary Mike “Pinball” Clemons to proactively develop our relationship with the youth of Peel Region to help them reach levels of success they may not think possible”, said Chief Duraiappah.

“This is addition, not subtraction. There is nothing that can take the place of parents in a child’s life,” said Argonauts GM Michael “Pinball” Clemons. “However, my lived experiences not only included my hero, my mom, but also police officers who were my coaches in football from age eight to high school. These thoughtful partners and many more were all essential components of my path to success. Many of our players have a similar lived experience and as pro football heroes they are putting their hearts in the huddle to help unite community, not only offering mentorship but also providing their own life experiences,” continued Clemons. “Connecting our Argo players alongside police to support, celebrate and encourage youth to experience more, dream more and do more then they ever thought possible. Thank you to the Peel Regional Police and my great friend Chief Duraiappah for this collaboration, it can only add up to success.”

To find more information on other ways Peel Regional Police supports and engages the youth of our region, please visit our website.