Get to know U19 National Team Running Back Jean-Paul Cimankinda
Jean-Paul Cimankinda is a running back from Ottawa, Ontario who will be representing Canada at the 2018 International Bowl in Arlington, Texas as a member of the National Under-19 team.
The offensive standout began playing football in 2006.
“My cousin brought me to one of his practices for the club team,” he recalled. “When I got there, I was surprised because it was a different world, just watching older guys and bigger guys playing football.”
“That’s the day I wanted to start playing football.”
Since then, Cimankinda has played for multiple teams including Bel Air Lions of the National Capital Amateur Football Association (NCAFA) Ottawa Myers Riders of the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL) and the Ottawa Sooners of the Ontario Football Conference (OFC).
The highlight of the running back’s career was the 2014 season with the Myers Riders varsity squad.
“We went undefeated and won the championship that year,” added CImankinda.
Each and every day, the offensive standout is fortunate to have his six brothers to support and encourage him in his gridiron and life goals.
“Five of them played football,” he elaborated. “I look up to them and I make sure that I don’t do the same mistakes they did.”
Surprised that he was selected to the National Under-19 team, Cimankinda is elated and grateful to have the chance to play for his country.
“I have to go there and put my country on my back and represent my country,” he expressed. “In the States, it’s a different ball game so just learning and playing and learn from the coaches because you can never stop learning.”
This post is also available in: French