August 20, 2010 – Ottawa, ON- Football Canada and Football Saskatchewan are very excited to announce the inaugural 6 NATIONS CHALLENGE that will be held from August 23 – 29, 2010 in Saskatoon, Sk. This event will be a tribute to the growth of 6-A-Side Football and the players and coaches involved. Saskatchewan currently has the most 6 –A-Side programs with over 1,500 players and the title of the event, the 6 Nations challenge, comes from the large group of aboriginal participants who are taking part in the event.
“Although 6-A-Side football has existed in Saskatchewan for over 60 years in rural high schools, it is now seeing considerable growth at the minor level as a developmentally appropriate way to introduce tackle football among youth, ” says Brian Guebert, Football Saskatchewan Program Director. Saskatchewan has now seen over 35 minor 6 aside teams spring up across the province in the last 18 months.”
Teams taking part in the weeklong event will include the James Bay Eagles from Quebec, the Clavet Cougars and the Prince Albert Collegiate Institute Golden Bears. Throughout the week, teams will practice and will hold controlled scrimmages before playing 3 mini-games on Saturday, August 28. Players involved will get the chance to practice with the Saskatoon Hilltops as well as meet players from both the University of Saskatchewan Huskies (CIS) and the Saskatoon Hilltops (CJFL).
The event also includes practices at Potash Corp Park, team outings to the Waneskewin Heritage Park and to Prince Albert and a team BBQ. Teams will get the chance to watch the CIS pre-season game between the Saskatchewan Huskies and the Western Mustangs. Finally, along with a final banquet, players at the Six Nations Challenge will have the opportunity to hear a former Six-a-side and CFL player speak.
The 6 Nations Challenge is an event that will allow the players to showcase their skills while enjoying and sharing their experiences through the game of football. Six-A-Side football is promoted as a perfect fit for minor football, aboriginal communities, female participants, and any community that is unequipped to manage a full 12-player program. Players are also able to develop a well-rounded skill set since they are not regulated into one position. Six-A-Side football is a fast paced game, allows 1 on 1 coaching and lets everyone touch the ball while still teaching the fundamentals of tackling, blocking, passing, catching and kicking.
“6-A-Side Football is vastly growing in popularity across Canada, ” says Football Canada technical coordinator Josh Sacobie. “Youth that would not have had the opportunity to experience the game of football now are through 6-A-Side programs. The 6 Nations Challenge is an event that promotes and celebrates 6-A-Side football programs being played in Canada.”
There continues to be exceptional growth of 6-A-Side football programs throughout Canada. In 2010, more than seven provinces and 2,500 players participated in this emerging game. PEI will be launching a 6 A Side program this fall.