Don Woodstock plans to tackle life lessons and basic football skills at his upcoming football clinic.
Teaming up with former Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver James Murphy, current Bombers receiving coach Markus Howell, and former Bombers defensive coach Donald Burrell, Woodstock has created the West End Football Clinic, which is now accepting applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.
"It’s always been a dream of mine," Woodstock said of his clinic, to be open on Aug. 17.
The Winnipeg Transit driver and member of the provincial Liberal Party says the clinic, located at the Valour Community Centre, 1315 Strathcona St., aims to mentor inner city youth, especially males.
"This age is a crucial age for boys," Woodstock said. "I know that if I didn’t have good role models, I wouldn’t be the person that I would be."
To Woodstock, football was never just a sport, and it taught him some life lessons.
"Yes, it’s football. Yes, it’s skills. But it’s more than that. It is also giving life lessons," he said.
"Every youngster needs confidence wherever they are. What’s most important is the confidence level they take to the rest of their lives."
The clinic is broken up into two sessions. The morning session runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The afternoon session runs from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
"We’re going to have a day of music, a day of skills training, special discipline," Woodstock said.
Woodstock says Murphy, Howell, and Burrell are "going to pass on their knowledge of defence, offence, running backs."
Murphy has been friends with Woodstock for five to six years. The five-time Hall of Famer retired in 1991 after playing professional football for eight years.
"Don approached me with the idea of doing a football clinic in the inner city and I thought it would be a great idea," Murphy said.
The clinic will be open for the public to watch. Youth ages 10 to 17 are encouraged to apply through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 204-880-1564.