27 March 2024

Media Release – Training Division Scholarships


CFLPA Academy Announces Eight Recipients of 2024 Training Division Firefighting Scholarship 

Mississauga, ON – As the Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) Academy continues to strive to bridge the gap between football and life beyond the field, eight CFLPA members have been awarded full scholarships through Training Division to complete their Firefighter certification training. These scholarships mark a significant stride in the Academy’s goals of empowering members to seek the resources available to them regarding life after football. Beyond these essay-based scholarships valued at over $7,000.00 USD each, Training Division also provides any interested CFLPA Academy member, and their family and immediate entry-scholarship valued at $1,000.00 USD. 

Since forming a partnership in 2016, the CFLPA Academy and Training Division have been providing opportunities to CFLPA members to pursue a career in Firefighting.  

Training Division is an emergency services training company that was developed by firefighters forfirefighters, fire recruits, and Emergency Medical Service personnel. With the demanding schedules that professional athletes face,Training Division understands the difficulty of trying to obtain new skills that transcend football. A group of firefighters with many years of fire education experience have developed these programs with those problems in mind. 

The eight CFLPA Academy members receiving this year’s Training Division scholarship are as follows: 

  • Noah Curtis 
  • Avery Ellis 
  • Dylan Giffen 
  • Brendan Gillanders 
  • Maleki Harris 
  • Brayden Lenius 
  • Mercy Maston 
  • Dominique Rhymes 

 “Since partnering with Training Division, our Academy has seen more than thirty current and former CFLPA members complete certifications to become firefighters” said Brian Ramsay, CFLPA Executive Director. He continued, “Many of those individuals are now serving their communities on the frontlines in Canada and around North America and planned for their transition either during or shortly after their football careers. We applaud this 2024 class of deserving members preparing to join their former teammates and peers in service once their playing careers are behind them.”  

The recipients of these scholarships embody the dedication and resilience that characterize CFLPA members and future Firefighters. Here are five insightful quotes from the recipients: 

  1. Dylan Giffen (Offensive Line, Toronto Argonauts): 

 “I’m extremely grateful to the CFLPA and Training Division for this scholarship.  Becoming a firefighter has always been a goal of mine and this scholarship will help bring me one step closer to that goal!” 

  1. Avery Ellis (Defensive Line, Montreal Alouettes) 

“Receiving the 2024 Training Division Scholarship is not just an honour; it represents a pivotal step toward fulfilling my aspiration to serve and protect our community as a firefighter. This scholarship is not just a financial boon, it’s a lifeline, enabling me to pursue a profession dedicated to service and heroism while upholding the profound responsibility of caring for my family.”  

  1. Dominique Rhymes (Wide Receiver, Ottawa Redblacks) 

“I’m honoured to receive the scholarship to the Training Division. I’m super excited to be given this opportunity which will help me pursue my passion to become a firefighter after my football career.” 

  1. Noah Curtis (Defensive Line, Edmonton Elks) 

“I am grateful and proud to be a member of the Canadian Football League and the goals it has allowed me to accomplish; playing professional football, and having the opportunity to become a firefighter and serve my community. Firefighting is similar to playing football because it creates a sense of brotherhood and family that is unique to the profession.” 

  1. Brayden Lenius (Wide Receiver, Saskatchewan Roughriders) 

“I am incredibly honored and grateful to receive this scholarship from Training Division. This opportunity not only fuels my passion for firefighting but also reaffirms my commitment to serving and protecting my community. I am eager to participate in the training program and make the most of this experience.” 

6. Brendan Gillanders (Running Back, Ottawa Redblacks)

"I would just like to thank the PA and Training Division for the ongoing partnership and for providing this opportunity. I am very excited to take advantage of the scholarship and gain the certifications, knowledge, and practical experience working towards a rewarding career and serving the community as a firefighter."

The CFLPA Academy is excited to provide these 8 members with an amazing opportunity to pursue a career in Firefighting. 

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About the CFLPA Academy: The CFLPA Academy provides support to CFLPA members and their families, offering education, wellness, and employment resources. ​The Academy offers access to various educational resources, including undergraduate and graduate degrees, microcredentials, tailored offerings, and applied streams such as diplomas, degrees, and certificates. ​ The Academy also provides certifications in areas like fire fighting and first response and sales training. ​The Academy has also partnered with external organizations to provide additional support and opportunities for CFLPA members. ​ The academy's services are available to CFLPA members, partners/spouses, and family members as well as recently retired members as they transition away from their playing careers. 

CFLPA Media Contact:   

Brendan Heisler, CFLPA Office | b.heisler@cflpa.com | 1-800-616-6865 

22 June 2023


CFLPA Academy members, Bailey Feltmate, Michael O’Connor, and Tyler Turner will each receive a full scholarship to complete their firefighting training through Training Division .

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