A football jersey never gets older, just better
Todd Van Ritchie loves football. He loves playing football, watching football, talking about football, dreaming about football…the list goes on.
For more than three decades, this football fanatic has spent every waking minute charging down grassy fields, fighting for just one more yard. Although Todd may have formally retired his jersey, he definitely hasn’t given up the sport.
Todd’s desire to stay in the game led him to coaching. “I feel it is important to give back to today’s youth so that they can have experiences growing up playing football just like I did,” says Todd. His passion for the game and natural leadership abilities, mixed with his drive to share football with today’s youth, eventually led him to the role of president of Halifax Football in 2007.
Todd’s other roles and accomplishments include:
- 2006 International Federation of American Football Youth Coach of the Year Award.
- Board of Director Member, Football Nova Scotia.
- Technical Director, Football Nova Scotia.
- Assistant Coach, two Nova Scotia Provincial U17 Teams.
- Head Coach, 2006 U16 Provincial Team.
- Creation of the Nova Scotia Varsity Football League.
Working with Halifax Football has allowed Todd to watch firsthand as young would-be football players learned the intricacies of the game. Halifax Football runs teams for youth on the Halifax Peninsula, the Chebucto Peninsula, Fairview, Clayton Park and Rockingham.
Despite having a variety of exciting programs to offer Halifax youth, Todd knew to take Halifax Football to the next level, he would have to find additional funding.
“We relied on player fees to fund all expenses,” Todd says. Todd made his case to the Support4Sport funding committee and was relieved to learn that he was among fellow football fans. Since 2007, Support4Sport funding has supported several Halifax Football initiatives.
Halifax Football’s Support4Sport funding helped promote and develop their youth football program for children under 10 in the Halifax area. Coupled with a grant for coaching development, increasing their ability to teach football and life skills to the young athletes, the association has truly been able to up their game.
"Overall this [Support4Sport] funding has allowed us to grow from three teams in two age groups, to six teams in four age groups"
Todd Van Ritchie
When all is said and done, for Todd, the money issues don’t really matter. It’s his love of the game that keeps him going. “Football is the ultimate team sport,” Todd proclaims. “There is a place for anyone on a football team regardless of size, speed and gender.”
For information on Halifax Football programs please go to www.halifaxfootball.com