I started my career in football in 1971. My passion for the sport meant I was willing to do anything to be on the field, so I volunteered with the 1971 Winnipeg Hawkeyes Juvenile Canadian Champions as a waterboy. It wasn’t a glamorous job but I enjoyed every moment of it. In 1978, I became the equipment manager for the Winnipeg Rods Football Club. Since then, I’ve served as equipment manager with the Hamilton Ironmen (OVFL), Niagara Spears (OVFL) and Hamilton Hurricanes (CJFL).

After conducting equipment management for many years, I saw the need for greater safety awareness around contact sports. During my volunteer years as equipment manager in football, I noticed equipment such as helmets and shoulder pads not fitting correctly on young athletes.

I am only a handful of Canadians certi­fied in equipment management through the Athletic Equipment Managers Association (AEMA) as well as carrying a Canadian Society of Safety Engineers (CSSE) designation established through my 20-plus years of ex­perience in the health and safe­ty field.

I received my certification in 2006 with the Athletic Equipment Managers Association (AEMA) in the United States. Fitting helmets and shoulder pads is my main course of action in preventing sports injury. If a player is not fitted properly, preventable injuries can be the result. I believe that we can protect youth from contact sport injuries by providing training and using proper fitting techniques – these simple preventative measures take some time but they are nothing compared to the impact an injury can have on a player’s life.