Gray Cup celebrated among 1.5,000 Saskatchewan students at Youth Rally


Saskatchewan is ready to host the Gray Cup on Sunday with a week full of activity before the big game. Tuesday was all about the kids.

More than 1,500 students from northern and central Saskatchewan filled Merlis Belsher Arena in Saskatoon for the Gray Cup Festival Youth Rally.

The two-hour event featured live music, entertainment, athlete motivational messages and a trophy reveal.

Organizers said the event needed to be exuberant and festive, but also to motivate children in difficult times.

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For Saskatchewan marathon champion Tarrant Cross Child, who was invited as the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s rally, it was a chance to inspire the next generation.

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“A lot of these kids may never win the Gray Cup. But just the spirit around the Gray Cup…you know you’ve heard the word believe too,” he explained.

“So all these young people who will be here today, on their journey, they may not be hoisting the cup, but they are also believing in things in their own kingdom. Whether at school or in their own sports or within their families,” he added.

He said it was important to show them that the older generations are there for guidance, community and support, especially in times of difficulty.

“For these young people who come here today, everyone has a story. Everyone has a route to sit in one of these seats. And every person can be struggling with something today, so hopefully through this gathering of young people we can inspire them,” he said.

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The event was hosted by former Saskatchewan Roughrider Neal Hughes. He said football is part of the fabric of the province.

“Football is huge in this province. And the Saskatchewan Roughriders have a huge voice. And you have companies like Cameco supporting them and putting on this great festival for young people. I think it’s very important. And hopefully some of those kids will come away with a different view of where they are in life,” Hughes explained.

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Roughriders CEO Craig Reynolds said many of the upcoming events are free and wanted the festivities to be accessible.

“We want to involve as many people as possible in the Gray Cup festival,” he said.

The Gray Cup trophy leaves Saskatoon Wednesday morning and travels to Regina.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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