Schools, community youth groups and local sports teams looking to experience the excitement of a Lancers sporting event needn’t worry about the cost thanks to a returning program.
The Lancers athletics program, along with corporate partner J.P. Thomson Architects Ltd. are once again running the Lancer Youth Fan Experience program to benefit community youth.
“It offers a chance for youths and students around the community who might not necessarily have a chance to come to a Lancers game or can’t necessarily afford to come to a game,” explained Lancers sports information officer Elisa Mitton. “They get to enjoy the experience and have a great time interacting with our athletes.”
The LYFE program, now in its second year, offers qualifying groups the opportunity to apply for free Lancers tickets to any regular season home game. The tickets have already been purchased by J.P. Thomson Architects.
“As more young people see these athletes, the more they will realize that school and sports can be a rewarding part of growing up,” said Colin McDonald, a principal architect at J.P. Thomson, adding that the program also provides exposure for Lancers athletics. “No team can ever have enough fans.”
Touted by Lancers athletics as “the first of its kind in Windsor,” the LYFE program was the brainchild of J.P. Thomson when the company became acquainted with the athletics department in 2009 after designing additions and renovations for the St. Denis Centre.
“During this period, (we) became increasingly aware of the high caliber of students engaging in academic and athletic pursuits,” McDonald said. “There is a very contagious collegial atmosphere at this facility. After some thought, J.P. Thomson developed the concept which would bring the youth of our communities together with Lancer athletics.”
The architectural firm was also inspired by the Lancers Women’s Basketball team and the 2011 CIS Championships at the St. Denis Centre.
“We saw firsthand the fan enthusiasm, young and old, and we wanted to work with (the Lancers) to continue that spirit. That was the true inspiration for the starting of the LYFE program.”
The first year was a success, according to McDonald, who said the entire block of tickets had been given away.
As well as receiving tickets to a Lancers game, groups will be recognized at the game and every child will receive a small gift courtesy of the Lancers and J.P. Thomson.
Schools, local sports teams, not-for profit and community youth groups and any other interested community partner can submit applications to receive tickets at golancer.ca.