Winnipeg Blue Bombers create anti-bullying award named after Samantha Mason

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have created a new award to recognize young people who are fighting bullying where they live.

Nominations for Samantha Mason Friendship Award accepted until Oct. 21

Samantha Mason, 15, took her own life in May 2015 after being bullied at school. Now an award has been launched in her name to recognize young people who are taking action to eliminate bullying. (Mason family)

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have created a new award to recognize young people who are fighting bullying where they live.

The Samantha Mason Friendship Award honours the memory of the 15-year-old Winnipeg girl, who killed herself in May following years of bullying at school.

The Blue Bombers are inviting parents, teachers and coaches to nominate students and youth in their communities. Nominations are being accepted until Oct. 21.

Organizers are looking for nominees who are 17 years old or younger and are taking action to eliminate bullying in their schools or communities, in line with the core values of a "kindness pledge" developed by the Bombers and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection:

  • I have the power to make a difference. I will not be a bully or a bystander.
  • I can help change the way others are treated in my school, my community and online.
  • Everyone is worthy of friendship, support and respect, therefore, I will choose to share kindness and hope instead of hate and hurt.
  • I have the power to change the story from hate to hope.

Five winners will be recognized on the field at the Bombers' Oct. 24 game and receive two tickets to the Grey Cup championship game. They will also be presented with the award by Mason's family.

Applications can be found on the Bombers' website.

The team is supporting another Canadian anti-bullying initiative, the Amanda Todd Legacy Project, by lighting up the exterior of Investors Group Field in purple for World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10.

Last week, Mason's family took part in the launch of NeedHelpNow.ca, a website with resources for young people who have had sexual videos or pictures posted on social media without their knowledge or permission.

In honour of Samantha's death, the Masons have created "Samantha's Story," a community Facebook page for sharing stories and resources and to give support to youth struggling with bullying.