- Award Recognition: Brayden Lenius of the Saskatchewan Roughriders is the latest recipient of the CFL’s Jake Gaudaur Veterans’ Award.
- Inspirational Comeback: Despite a severe preseason injury, Lenius returned to the field by Week 8, demonstrating remarkable perseverance and strength.
- Community Impact: Beyond the field, Lenius actively contributes to Canadian communities, promoting mental well-being and anti-racism, and working closely with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Indigenous communities.
Saskatchewan Roughriders’ receiver Brayden Lenius has been named the recipient of this year’s Jake Gaudaur Veterans’ Award, a prestigious recognition in the Canadian Football League (CFL) for a player exemplifying the attributes of Canada’s Veterans: strength, perseverance, courage, comradeship, and community contribution.
CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie lauded Lenius’s resilience and leadership, noting his significant impact both on and off the field. Lenius’s journey this season was marked by overcoming a lacerated kidney sustained during a pre-season game. His expected recovery time was three months, but Lenius made a remarkable return to the field by Week 8, only to face another setback with a Lisfranc sprain.
Despite these challenges, Lenius continued to be a pillar of support for his team, actively participating in rehabilitation and maintaining a positive presence. His efforts extended beyond the locker room, as he engaged in numerous community initiatives, including the Win with Wellness and Grow the Game programs, teaching youth about mental well-being and healthy relationships, and advocating for anti-racism.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, also commended Lenius for mirroring the qualities of Jake Gaudaur and other Canadian Veterans in his commitment and positive influence.
The selection of Lenius for the award was made by a committee comprising representatives from Veterans Affairs Canada, the CFL Players’ Association, and the CFL.
This honor is part of the broader CFL Awards, a highlight of the 2023 Grey Cup Festival, a week-long celebration featuring various events leading up to the 110th Grey Cup. The championship game, which is sold out, will take place at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton on November 19, with a halftime show featuring Green Day, and will be broadcasted nationally and internationally.
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