Roughriders training camp delights Saskatoon care home fans
Visit called "a highlight of their summer" for Sherbrooke Community Centre residents
With the Saskatchewan Roughriders' training camp taking place just up the street from her care home, Susan Hayward couldn't turn down the chance to catch some football action.
Hayward is the recreation co-ordinator at the Sherbrooke Community Centre, a long-term care facility that's home to about 270 people — including more than a few Rider fans.
It's a highlight of their summer.- Susan Hayward, recreation co-ordinator at the Sherbrooke Community Centre
"These guys have been long-term lovers of the Roughriders, and we thought, perfect opportunity," said Hayward, as she and a group of about 10 residents watched the team practice at Griffiths Stadium on the University of Saskatchewan campus.
"We're two blocks away, so we'd come over and check it out and see what's going on."
Riders quarterback Darian Durant was on the field taking a few snaps Thursday afternoon, much to the delight of care home resident Donavon McAlpine.
"It makes me feel so good [to see him in person], y'know?" said McAlpine, who later got his jersey autographed by Durant, his favourite player.
"Makes everything good. Makes you smile."
Hayward said the home's biggest Riders fans aren't just limited to seeing the team during the preseason. They've been known to take yearly trips down to Regina to see the team once the games start to count.
For people dealing with disability and disease, getting a chance to witness a game or two is so important, Hayward said.
"It's a highlight of their summer," she said. "It allows them to participate in activities of daily living which, you know, people in the community take for granted."