Donaldson, a former 10-year CFL player and member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2000-03), has started the Premier Football Factory training program for young players and will hold his first skills and development camp over three weekends on Jan. 11, 18 and 25 at The Golf Dome at 1205 Wilkes Ave.
It just so happens Donaldson's friends are a group of current and former professional football players and elite coaches who are volunteering their time and brimming with gridiron good sense and training tips.
"I just want to give kids access to resources that I used and taking it to the next level by bringing in guys that we are lucky to have in our province," said Donaldson. "These guys have tons of experience and if I was a young guy coming out, I'd be proud to have these guys coaching me.
"I'm hoping it will be great motivation for these young players. Maybe they'll say, 'hey, if he can do it, I can do it, too.' It makes the dream more realistic and we're going to give them the tools to achieve their goals."
Donaldson said players will all be given off-season strength, conditioning and nutrition programs to assist them in proper choices and development.
Headlining the lineup of coaches is Grey Cup champion Markus Howell of the Calgary Stampeders, who defeated the Montreal Alouettes 22-14 in the CFL championship game on Nov. 23.
Howell will coach the receivers while Moe Elewonibi, the former Winnipeg Blue Bomber and Winnipeg Rifles offensive line coach, will coach the offensive line. Donaldson will coach the defensive backs with former Winnipeg Blue Bombers player Michael Richardson coaching the running backs. Former Blue Bombers player Lamar McGriggs will coach the linebackers and defensive ends with national sprint coach Glenn Bruce as the conditioning coach.
"I ran a 4.35 (seconds in the 40-yard dash) and Glenn Bruce got me there," Donaldson said. "These guys all have secrets to their own success, what secrets will they share with the kids and what can they do with these secrets?"
There will be at least one coach per position with a number of special guests including former Winnipeg Blue Bombers assistant coach and Winnipeg Hawkeyes junior coach Don Burrell, Winnipeg Rifles junior team's quarterbacks coach and former University of Manitoba Bisons quarterback Brad Sarna.
The cost of the camp is $180 with registration at www.premierfootballfactory.com or call 283-4736 for information.