Stampeders Aim to Grow Football in Calgary by Giving Hudl to High Schools

The Calgary Stampeders are advancing the sport by giving coaches the video they need to improve their teams.

Stampeders Aim to Grow Football in Calgary by Giving Hudl to High Schools

The Calgary Stampeders are advancing the sport by giving coaches the video they need to improve their teams.

It started in 2005, when Ross Folan noticed that a high school coach didn’t have adequate cameras to record his games. As the Director of Video Operations for the Calgary Stampeders, Folan had access to excellent equipment and decided to help the local school.

That simple generosity blossomed into something incredible.

Calgary now records each game for the city’s 21 high schools (40 teams total including junior varsity) and provides a Hudl account for each school. They even break down the games, saving coaches time while giving them incredible information and video previously unavailable to them.

“It’s about us giving back to grassroots football,” Ross said. “We feel it’s a perfect tool for the high schools to maximize the coaching staffs and the players and their opportunities. They absolutely love it. From beginning to end, we film every single game. We put it on the cloud for them. We try and give as much as we can so they can concentrate on football.

“Hudl makes that possible. There is no way you could do this with a different software.”

The Stampeders assist the coaches every step of the way. They’ve held training sessions in the team’s meeting room and let the coaches know they’re available any time. In fact, last Nov. 27, Calgary was in Toronto preparing to compete in that night’s CFL Grey Cup Championship game. Ross suddenly got a call from a coach who needed help with Hudl, and he stepped aside to assist.

“Honestly, without the Stampeders, I am not sure football in our city at the high school or community level would be nearly as good as it is,” Jovan Vujinovic, the athletic director at Ernest Manning High School, said. “The fact that they film games and we get access to Hudl is amazing and it is a huge leg up on everyone else. I think this service is essential to football in the city and I can not imagine doing this game without this help. There is no way as a school we could film games and get it up the way we do now.”

Vujinovic believes the Stampeders’ generosity is changing the future of football in Calgary. He recently had a basketball player approach him and say, because of all the video he’s been watching, he can’t wait to get started with football season now.

The coaches at Ernest Manning were so excited about this opportunity they began recording practices and sending them to players with comments and drawings. The adoption of video is changing the way football is viewed in the city.

“The bigger picture of Hudl and the Calgary Stampeders is that they are growing the game of football in (Calgary),” Vujinovic said. “In turn they are creating savvy football fans for the next generation. These fans will one day be season ticket holders, purchase jerseys and watch games.”

If Canadian coaches are interested in seeing the benefits of Hudl themselves, simply email craig.johnson@hudl.com to set up your team today.

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