James Yausie and Cora Weenk
Football is a way of life for James Yausie and Cora Weenk. In Saskatoon, the sport is so commonly associated with this family that it’s no surprise that these football coaches, players, cheerleaders and team managers wanted to be involved with The Bowl revitalization project. Their love for the sport goes beyond touchdowns, plays and yards — it is the spirit of the game that holds the family’s passion.
“Football has always been a major part of my life,” says James; he and his three brothers are alumni of the Hilltops and Huskies. “This sport is about respect, perseverance, humility and teamwork. It’s about developing skills on and off the field to become community leaders. Cora and I are very fortunate to have the opportunity to be involved in coaching and managing minor sports teams that our kids belong to.”
Both Nutana High School alums, James and Cora carried their love of football and sport into their family. Walls at their home proudly display the many teams this couple has coached and supported. The sport doesn’t end with James and Cora – each of their three children are active in a football league. Jay, 16, is a Linebacker for the Senior Aden Bowman Bears. Chad, 14, delivered strong hits as a Linebacker for his Provincial Champion Kinsmen Football League team, the Bantam Steelers. Tess, 11, plays on two flag football teams in the girls’ flag league, proudly wearing a Blue Lions jersey, the team logo of which she designed.
Saskatoon Minor Football (SMF) holds a special place for them. Their family is a founding member of SMF and each of their three children have played flag football, KFL tackle, and Spring Developmental tackle. SMF’s high calibre of programming today is, in part, due to the support the family has given. James has coached SMF teams for the past eight years and Cora is always present managing and taking pictures of the action on the field. “Minor football is where most kids begin their football career,” says James. “This is the beginning, the starting place for our kids where they learn the sport and life skills they will carry with them through school, into careers, and for some, on to post-secondary football with the Hilltops or Huskies.”
“We were happy to hear how the upgrades to The Bowl will further embrace all of Saskatoon’s athletic community,” says Cora. “All of the kids need more access to artificial turf and a safe field with new lighting. Revitalizing the field gives Saskatoon the world class venue it deserves, and will foster the incredible growth and development of new initiatives like girls flag football and women’s tackle football.”
To support the development of football in Saskatoon, James and Cora are donating $2,000,000 to the project. This transformative lead gift will create a much needed, high calibre facility to serve the community. “We’ve been blessed living and working in Saskatoon. We’re honoured to be a part of The Bowl Field Goal campaign,” says Cora. “Giving back to our community through sports and education is a rewarding responsibility we want to share with our family.”
“We are very excited for the new field,” says James. “This project will truly create a new home for football in our community. We can’t wait for the first kickoff this fall and to see the impact this facility will have on Saskatoon for years to come.”