The Vancouver Island Raiders are based in Nanaimo, BC and joined the BC Conference of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) in 2005. It essentially was awarded the franchise that had belonged to the Abbotsford Air Force, which had disbanded following the 2004 season. In their very first campaign the Raiders finished with an incredible 8-2 record, but lost in the semi-finals.
In the 15 years the franchise has existed, the Raiders have remarkably not only won eight BC Conference titles but three Canadian Bowls as well, having beaten the Edmonton Wildcats (2006 & 2009) twice and the Burlington Braves (2008). Both wins over the Wildcats were claimed at home at Caledonia Park, while their other championship was captured in Burlington, Ontario. Winning three titles in four seasons displays just how dominate the team was during that run and represents the greatest moments in the team’s history.
The Raiders path to the 2008 championship took them to Saskatoon where they beat the Hilltops and to this day still represent the only time a team from BC has beaten the Hilltops in Saskatchewan in a playoff game since the late 1940s.
In addition to their three Canadian titles, the Raiders have also appeared in another two championship games (2010 & 2013) and three national semi-final games.
In 2017 the Raiders received an honour no other BC Conference team has had; inducted into the BC Football Hall of Fame for their outstanding success on the field.
For a team/organization that has only been in existence for 15 years, these are remarkable accolades. Overall the Raiders record following the 2019 season reads 155-32-3. In the playoffs, the team’s record is 18-7; with eight Conference championships and on the national stage they are a combined 6-4 with those three Canadian Bowl rings.
Along with their winning tradition, the Raiders have been a leader in bringing forward ideas such as a scholarship program for players continuing education and pioneering the streaming of its games over the internet. Most teams across the CJFL have adopted one or both of these ideas after seeing the success in Nanaimo.
When discussing the Raiders alumni, the first name that always comes to mind is Andrew Harris, who has gone on to enjoy a great career in the CFL with both the BC Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Harris still holds the CJFL record for highest rushing average in a career at 9.9 yards a carry, highest average in a season when he averaged 14.5 yards a carry in 2009 and most rushing touchdowns in a career with 54. He’s second in career rushing yards with 4,133 from 2005-2009.
In addition to Harris, a large number of Raiders alum have gone onto to play at the University level as well as the CFL. These include: Jordan Yantz, Lorne Plante, Curtis Vizza, Andrew Smith, Whitman Tomusiak, Joe Lipinski, Ryan Wellman, Brian Ridgeway and Robin Medeiros.
The Raiders are hoping for a new home in 2021 and are slated to play on the field turf of NDSS Field in Nanaimo, with a new 7,000 seat facility scheduled to be built around the field. Most teams in the BC Conference will be pleased not to play at Caledonia Park, a near impossible place to win for opposing teams.
Quick Raiders Facts:
Conference – BC Conference
Location – 110 Wall St, Nanaimo, BC
Raiders President – Kabel Atwall
Head Coach – Curtis Vizza
Stadium – Caledonia Park
Social Handle - @VIRaiders / @vi.raiders
Primary Colours – Black, Red, White
Football Canada is committed to creating an inclusive and diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status or disability.
MANAGER, NON-CONTACT FOOTBALL
Lead the development of Football Canada’s non-contact programs and events in conjunction with the Provincial Sport Organization. Football Canada is seeking an individual to serve as Technical and Events staff. This individual will report to the Executive Director and will be responsible for coordinating, developing and administrating all activities related to National Coach Certification Program (NCCP) and the Football Canada Officials Certification Program for non-contact football (flag, Sevens, and touch). The individual shall guide and support the efforts of the National Office Staff, Directors/Chairpersons, Committees, and other Volunteers in the fulfilment of their roles and duties.
Areas of focus will include the following:
• Manage Player Development
• Manage Officials Development
• Manage Coach Development
• Manage High Performance
• Manage Rules and Safety
• Manage Non-Contact Events
The ideal candidate must possess the following qualifications and experience:
• Post-secondary degree preferably in Physical Education/Coaching or Sport Management.
• Coaching background – certified NCCP Training or equivalent experience.
• Experience delivering sport clinics and / or camps
• Works well with others as a team player.
• Be an effective communicator (writing and speaking).
• Strong organizational skills. • Experience coordinating events • Computer knowledge in Windows, Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft Office (incl. Excel, Word, Access, PowerPoint, and Publisher) and Microsoft Outlook.
• Ability and willingness to work some extended hours, and • Have the ability and willingness to do some traveling approximately 5-7 weeks per year.
• Non-contact football experience will be considered an asset
• Ability to fluently communicate in both official languages is an asset.
Salary for this position is commensurate with experience and qualifications.
Position type: 2 Year Contract
Location: Option to working remotely within Canada
Application deadline: March 14th, 2021 please send applications to firstname.lastname@example.org
Expected start date: March 31st, 2021
All responses are appreciated, however, only those selected for an interview will receive a reply.
You must include the following in your submission:
A) Three references (including addresses and phone numbers).
B) Salary Expectations; and
C) Date of availability to commence employment.
Football Canada is proud to welcome the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) as an Associate Member.
The approval of the CJFL marks the fourth Associate Member to join Football Canada in the last year, joining the Canadian Football League, U SPORTS and the Canadian Football Officials Association.
“Football Canada is now the hub of communications for our national contact football organizations to connect, collaborate and partner with grassroots football across the country,” Football Canada President Jim Mullin said.
“Coming out of this pandemic, it is critical that all football organizations within Canada work together as one instead of against each other to get all of our teams and players back on the field safely,” added CJFL Commissioner Jim Pankovich. “I’m excited to be able to share best practices and ideas across the country to not only build our CJFL game, but football as a whole. This partnership with the other organizations will give more opportunities for young men and women to play this game.”
The alliance creates pathways for expanded work on CJFL teams to participate in developing the game at the community level with Football Canada programming like First Down and CFL Futures focused on participation for youth under-12. It is also a catalyst for discussion with the CFL and U SPORTS to align areas of operations and events.
“We have already started a dialogue between the partners about how we can work together as a football community to maximize our high-performance events and contribute to minor football, and the CJFL is at the centre of that discussion,” continued Mullin.
The CJFL’s membership in Football Canada was facilitated by the recent ratification of Ontario Football Conference (OFC) Juniors return to the Ontario Football Alliance (OFA), the responsible body for football’s governance in Ontario. The OFC is set to host the CJFL championship Canadian Bowl this November, showcasing the talent and level of enthusiasm for junior football in the province and across the country.
ABOUT FOOTBALL CANADA: Established in 1880 and reconstituted in 1884, Football Canada is the national governing body of amateur football in Canada and a proud member of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF). Working closely with the provincial football associations, we develop programs and resources for players, coaches, officials in the three disciplines of Tackle, Flag and Touch Football. Football Canada’s vision statement is “from playground to stadium” where players can participate in the game of football throughout a lifetime recreationally, competitively and internationally.