10 July 2024

CFLPA Academy | Career Transitions

The CFLPA Academy is working with former members who have transitioned out of sport and into new careers post-football.

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23 September 2023

CFLPA Player Rep Profiles – Derek Wiggan

Derek Wiggan is a Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) Player Representative for the Calgary Stampeders. Wiggan, a native of Toronto, Ontario, played his university Football with the Queens University Gaels of the OUA, before eventually joining the Calgary Stampeders in 2015. Derek is now in his 8th season with the Lions, having racked up 18 sacks over the course of his career.

As he entered his second season as a Player Representative for the CFLPA, we sat down with Derek and asked him the following questions:

Photo By: Calgary Stampeders
  1. Why did you want to become a CFLPA Player rep? 

I wanted to become a CFLPA Player Rep to be a voice for my locker room and to have the opportunity to help out my teammates.

  1. This is your 8th season playing in Calgary. How do you like living in Calgary and how does it compare to living in Toronto? 

These 8 seasons in Calgary have flown by. I love living in Calgary. It has definitely become home for me. The main things I miss about Toronto is my parents and friends. 

  1. What is your favorite memory from playing football at Queens? 

My favourite memory from playing for Queen’s would be winning the semi-final playoff game vs Guelph in 2013. We had lost to them in the 2012 semi-finals in a heartbreaker. That entire week of practice and everything coming together on gameday was special. 

  1. What are some of your favorite things to do away from football and in the offseason? 

 I play a lot of videogames during my off time. I like to read and watch movies as well. I really enjoy trying out new restaurants. 

  1. What is your favorite part of the CFLPA AGM meetings? 

My favourite part of the CFLPA AGM last year was meeting Upper Deck. You could really tell the passion for sports that they have in their company.  I also really enjoyed getting to know about the business side of sports cards.

  1. What is your ideal bye week during the season. 

My ideal bye week would be eating a lot of food and playing a lot of video games. 

  1.  What did it mean to you to win the Grey Cup? 

Winning the Grey Cup meant that dreams do come true. I had lost two grey cups in a row so to finally win one was incredible. All that hard work paid off. 

  1. What advice would you have for any players who want to pursue a career in pro football? 

My advice for young players would be… if you really want to pursue this profession, you have to develop positive habits and have discipline following those habits. 

Photo By: Larry MacDougal/3DownNation
  1. Who has inspired/helped you the most in your Football career? 

My teammates. When you have a great group of guys that want the best for you and push you, it can help grow your game. I could write a whole chapter on the teammates who I learned from that inspired me and helped me get to where I am today. 

9 June 2023

Saskatchewan Roughrider Brett Lauther Honored for Community Dedication

In an inspiring display of recognition for his outstanding commitment to both the Saskatchewan community and the Canadian Football League Players' Association (CFLPA), Brett Lauther, a renowned Saskatchewan Roughrider, joined all those enjoying convocation of Saskatchewan Polytechnic as the recipient of an honorary degree. Lauther was bestowed this prestigious honor for his unwavering dedication to uplifting the greater Saskatchewan community, as well as his vital role as a Player Representative within the CFLPA.

The CFLPA Academy was created in 2016 as part of a growing resource base for the Canadian Football League Players' Association members. With a mission statement that reads: To provide CFLPA members and their families with support to succeed in life today, and as they transition away from the Canadian Football field, the Academy has provided more than 3,000 resources for our members and their families in an annual population of 700 (avg) CFLPA members. Currently, the Academy is in regular contact with more then 1,300 current and former members. The success of the programs with the three pillars of education, career, and health & wellness is directly related to our members' ownership in constructing the platform.

Expressing his gratitude, Brett Lauther acknowledged the significant partnership between the Canadian Football League Players' Association and Saskatchewan Polytechnic. He praised the educational institution for providing numerous CFL players and their families with transformative opportunities and a clear roadmap for life beyond the football field. Lauther added, "Earning something is the epitome of achievement and dignity in life. While receiving the 2023 Saskatchewan Polytechnic honorary degree is truly an exceptional honor, I am thrilled to join you all in celebrating and congratulating your remarkable achievements as graduates."

Lauther's impressive bio highlights a remarkable career spanning six CFL seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Hailing from Truro, Nova Scotia, Lauther burst onto the scene in 2018, setting a Roughrider record by converting 90% of his attempted field goals and earning the title of West Division All-Star. Lauther has consistently demonstrated his prowess on the football field, successfully converting 83% of his field goal attempts, amassing 623 points, and achieving two career-long 57-yard field goals in 2019 and 2022.

Yet, Lauther's impact extends far beyond his on-field accomplishments. He has made significant contributions to the Saskatchewan community, serving as an ambassador for the Saskatchewan Roughrider Foundation. Lauther actively collaborates with the charitable arm of the football club, focusing on physical and mental wellness, education, and amateur football. Notable initiatives include his involvement in the Win with Wellness program, which educates students across Saskatchewan about mental wellness, stress management, and maintaining healthy relationships. Lauther also dedicates his time to the Rider Reading Program, engaging with elementary school students to foster a love for literacy. Moreover, as an ambassador for KidSport, Lauther supports various fundraising efforts and initiatives aimed at ensuring all children have access to sports.

In 2023, Lauther demonstrated his philanthropic spirit by founding and co-organizing the inaugural Saskatchewan Roughrider Foundation Winter Classic. This charity hockey game featured past and present Roughriders, NHL alumni, and other renowned guests, successfully raising $25,000 for KidSport.

Through his involvement with the Foundation and the football club's community endeavors, Lauther actively participates in multiple football camps across Regina, Saskatoon, and Northern Saskatchewan, imparting his knowledge and passion for the game to the next generation of aspiring football players.

Unsurprisingly, Lauther has won the hearts of fans and received numerous accolades for his unwavering dedication.

8 June 2023

CFLPA x Upper Deck West Coast Tour

With the help of the CFLPA, Upper Deck, known for its amazing sports collectibles, is on a thrilling adventure across the CFL. Their goal is to collect highly sought-after autographs from some of our talented members for the upcoming 2023 CFL trading card sets. They have already visited three out of the nine CFL clubs, with completed visits with the; Calgary Stampeders, Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the BC Lions.

Upper Deck has been traveling from city to city, meeting passionate members who make the CFL so special. They have gathered signatures from the brightest stars, making the trading cards even more exciting. But they still have more teams to visit, and fans can look forward to seeing some amazing behind-the-scenes content from the remaining six signings. The 2023 CFL trading cards will be cherished by fans, connecting them with their favorite players and the spirit of Canadian football.

We want to extend a big thank you to Upper Deck and all of the CFL clubs for their hard work in making these successful events. We can't wait to get our hands on some of the new and exciting trading cards in the 2023 Upper Deck CFL set.