September 15, 2011: Former CFL’er to Tackle Kilimanjaro for Charity

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For immediate release: September 15, 2011

Former CFL’er to Tackle Kilimanjaro for Charity

He is co-holder of the CFL record for most special teams tackles in a game with seven.

This October, former linebacker Brendan Rogers will face an even more formidable opponent when he takes on Mount Kilimanjaro -the highest mountain in Africa.

The former Winnipeg Blue Bomber (1991-95), Toronto Argonaut (1996-98) and Saskatchewan Roughrider (1999) will be part of a 16 member team attempting to climb the 5,895 metre high Kilimanjaro to raise money for charity. Through Summits of Hope, a not-for-profit group that has raised in excess of $1.8 million over the past 10 years, Rogers will be raising funds for the study of brain injury and concussion for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. He hopes to raise at least $10,000.

“It’s for a great cause,” says Rogers. “These are everyday people who are out doing this – teachers, nurses, firemen, police officers, you name it. When we encounter adversity the stress we feel can erode our optimism, eventually convincing us that the issues we face cannot be overcome. In truth, there is no situation so dire, no challenge so great and no choice so bewildering that it cannot be overcome. I feel that is the essence of work that is done by BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.”

Rogers has been active with a variety of charitable organizations and foundations across Canada and is actively involved in efforts to improve the lot of former CFL players. He is a strong supporter of the CFL Alumni Association. Rogers has seen a number of his teammates pass away the last few years and is concerned about the long-term effects of brain injuries and concussions on former players.

This will be his second expedition with Summits of Hope. Last year Rogers was part of a team that climbed to the Mount Everest Base Camp.

The Kilimanjaro climb, up and down, should take between eight and nine days. In preparation for the fundraiser, Rogers has spent the past six months training, primarily improving his cardiovascular levels. “I’ve done various things in preparation for the climb,” he says. “Running up the stadium stairs with a weighted vest as well as a lot of hiking. There is a lot less oxygen at those heights so it is bound to have an effect. It will basically be one step at a time.”

“What I hope to get out of it is the sense of setting a goal and accomplishing it – and for those that support me, says Rogers. “It’s the same as being a professional athlete. You set your goals and hope to accomplish them. I am looking forward to watching the sun rise from the roof top of Africa. Hopefully I can inspire a few of the guys around the league to maybe take part next year.”

To donate or for more information on October’s Summits of Hope climb check out the web site at www.summitsofhope.com.

The CFL Alumni Association is committed to helping support research and awareness of concussion. The Association is also actively involved in the Canadian Sports Concussion Project at Krembil Neuroscience Center at Toronto Western Hospital. The research group is led by Dr. Charles Tator, Canada’s preeminent authority on sports concussion.