When Head Coach Gary Waterman set out to unite X-Men Football’s vast group of alumni and supporters through the X-Men Touchdown Club, he knew that geographical challenges would arise.
“I think it’s important that we stay connected with our alumni across the country, and really across the world,” Coach Waterman commented in a recent X-Men Touchdown Club interview. “To do that, you need to have some leaders regionally that can help you in the process of connecting with people, organizing events, and being part of the process. The idea of creating a regional Board of Directors was to have a group that’s out there connected to the program who I can talk with regularly and who can help us all stay connected.”
The recently-launched X-Men Touchdown Club is quickly growing into the single arm of communication between the X-Men Football Team and all of those who wish to stay connected to the program and the Antigonish campus. The X-Men Touchdown Club website now boasts a number of feature stories about X-Men football players and alumni, and the Coach’s Blog section provides supporters with an in-depth look into the inner workings of the program throughout the year.
In order to expand the reach of the X-Men Touchdown Club, Coach Waterman has gone out and assembled a group of passionate alumni throughout the country and internationally who will help promote the Club through regular events in their areas.
“There were so many outstanding candidates,” Coach Waterman said of the process of assembling the Board. “We were looking for people who had expressed an interest in helping out in some regard, and people who had been active at times within the program, and people that we felt possessed leadership skills and the ability to connect.”
Once Coach Waterman began reaching out to potential Board members, he found that X-Men Football Alumni, as could have been predicted, were more than willing to help.
“Everybody I reached out to and explained the idea to, they were all excited and happy to join. They were all happy to help,” Coach Waterman said.
One such alumnus, Joe Jurus, was quick to say “yes” when asked about joining the Board of Directors to help represent the Ontario region.
“I agreed to join the TD Club Board of Directors for many reasons,” Jurus said. “Not only do I get to support a friend and teammate in Gary Waterman, but I also have the opportunity to give back, in a small way, to an institution that helped shape me into the man I am today. For four years StFX was my home, and for the past thirty years my X-Men teammates and classmates have been my family. Anyone who has gone to StFX understands the bonds the university instills in all of its students.”
Jurus went on to explain the importance of giving back to an institution that “deeply cares about developing quality, well-rounded student-athletes”.
“I encourage all alumni and former teammates to consider making a small donation to the TD Club. Many hands make light work,” Jurus said. “I am honoured to be an X-Men graduate, and I am honoured to have been asked to join this Club. I look forward to working together to ensure StFX football thrives for decades to come.”
Fellow alumnus Kwame Osei, who will help represent Western Canada on the Board, also jumped at the chance to give back to his alma mater.
“StFX did a lot for me as a young man. The school and its culture totally transformed my life,” Osei said. “I owe it to the school and to the next generation to be involved with this Board. Coach Waterman has done so much for me over the years, I really look up to him, and I’m humbled that he asked me to join.”
Like Jurus, Osei believes that, when the X-Men Football alumni base works together to achieve a goal, there is nothing they can’t accomplish.
“I think it’s important for all the alumni to be involved. This is an opportunity for us to make sure StFX stays competitive nationally,” commented Osei. “We have a strong, successful alumni base, and we need to take advantage of that so we can help create and maintain a program that players all over the country want to be part of.”
As for Coach Waterman, he feels that, now that the regional Board of Directors is in place, the X-Men Touchdown Club can continue moving in a positive direction.
“I think this is a big step. Now that we have the Board in place and they are willing to help, we’re going to now start getting some events going,” Coach Waterman said.
The first planned event is set to take place during the X-Men Football Team’s first regular season game, which is a key match-up in Halifax versus Saint Mary’s on August 25. Regional Board members will be organizing viewing parties in their respective areas, which should provide alumni all across the country and beyond with a chance to get together, watch the game, and re-connect with the program.
Stay tuned for more information about a viewing party in your area, and click here to join the X-Men Touchdown Club today. Also, if you are interested in assisting with the X-Men Touchdown Club in any capacity, you can email Coach Waterman by clicking here.
Here is a full list of the X-Men Touchdown Club Board of Directors:
Donald Tabor – Dartmouth, NS
Chris Benoit – Halifax, NS
Colin Bush – Cole Harbour, NS
Pat Jancsy – Marblehead, MA
Dave Austin – Lakeville, MA
Adam Kania – Burlington, ON
Frank Trentadue – Toronto, ON
Mike Cahill – Greely, ON
Tim Lang – Toronto, ON
Richard Karikari – Ajax, ON
Joe Jurus – Milton, ON
Reilly Penner – Calgary, AB
Kwame Osei – Fort McMurray, AB
Chase Hart – Edmonton, AB