The reigning champions for the past two seasons, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are thrilled to start off their season with a home opener game this evening with a chapel just before.
"The guys are super excited," says Lorne Korol, the chaplain of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with Athletes in Action. "This is the time of year with a fresh start with new life. Everybody's got lots of hopes, lots of dreams and goals. I'm really excited that our guys are willing and open to put God first."
With a busy pre-season schedule, there hasn't been much time to do Bible studies or chapel with the athletes.
"I go there and just try to talk to the guys when I can. Preseason training camp is so busy that we can't really have Bible studies fit into the schedule. But now that we're into week one, we had a game day chapel in the preseason game a couple of weeks ago and this week we had our first player's Bible study followed by a coach's Bible study."
Korol encourages and prays for the teams often, building relationships with the players throughout the season. He also offers chapels to opposing teams.
"I'm at the Fairmont, I just finished doing a chapel for the Ottawa Redblacks, helping serve the visiting team. Tonight at about 5:00 p.m. I'll do a chapel for the Bombers."
The game between the teams starts at 7:30 p.m. with gates opening at 6:30 at IG Field, including a special opening event.
"There's a banner unveiling. It's going to be a nice ceremony before the game. I think it'll be an exciting time for the fans. They're such a big part of our organization."
Korol shares that by connecting with the team, he sees their heart for God and the game in many of them.
"I think we have a good group of guys. In our chapel leadership group, we've got Jackson Jeffcoat, Kyrie Wilson, Brandon Alexander and some emerging leaders like Willie Jefferson, and Rasheed Bailey. These guys are really diving into the Lord. I saw it at their first Bible study this week. We did a goal setting excersis and they're really looking forward to see where God is going to take them, not only in football but also their spiritual walks."
Korol says it feels like a family. For more information on the Blue Bombers upcoming season, click here.