Calgary Roughnecks defenseman Andrew McBride entered the National Lacrosse League in 2003 after the team drafted him the previous year; he has since played his entire career with the Roughnecks organization. McBride is now the current captain of the Riggers, but his leadership goes beyond the floor of lacrosse as he is an Athlete Ambassador for Right To Play Canada.
“Right To Play is such a fantastic organization that really uses sport to help kids around the world,” McBride said. “I’m really excited that I can share the ability to play lacrosse and use that to teach the kids some of the lessons that Right to Play is all about.”
“It’s an organization that touches home,” McBride continued. “Sport is an important part of my life, sport transcends different boundaries, it transcends race, it transcends gender, it transcends conflict zones and it gives kids the ability to play and learn life skills.”
The Right To Play program focuses on three critical areas of child development; quality of education, ability to stay healthy and a kids potential to help build a better community. Something McBride says he is very passionate about.
“Right To Play is all about empowering the kids, It’s about teaching them life skills that are going to help not only themselves but their communities and their villages.”
“That’s what’s great about the program,” McBride added. “It’s not just a one-time thing, it’s about teaching these kids lessons from dealing with AIDS, mosquitos and malaria, to dealing with fresh water and simply washing your hands. These are all lessons that they can spread to other people and really make a difference in their lives.”
The Roughnecks captain has been overseas and seen firsthand the impact the Right To Play program has on those that are less fortunate.
“I’ve been to Benin which is a small country in Africa and it was very amazing,” he said. “I got to visit a bunch of different schools and see the impact the Right To Play program has on these kids is amazing. You can see the excitement and the joy these kids have from learning the program and you can really see, compared to other schools and other areas in the region, how much more advanced they are.”
“You see other kids and other communities really wanting to be a part of what Right To Play is about because they’ve seen how these communities have been lifted up from their experiences.”
McBride may live a busy lifestyle, but he believes that we are fortunate to live where we do, and that giving back is just a part of being human.
“I think the ability to give back is something that we take for granted here in Canada and North America,” McBride admitted. “We’re in such a fortunate spot and we do have the ability to give back and any little bit really does go a long way to help these people.”
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About Right To Play
Right To Play is a global organization, using the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity. Through playing sports and games, Right To Play helps over one million children learn through play to create better futures, while driving lasting social change in more than 20 countries each week. Founded in 2000 by social entrepreneur and four-time Olympic gold medalist Johann Olav Koss, Right To Play is headquartered in Toronto, Canada and has national fundraising offices in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Regional offices are in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Our programs are facilitated by more than 600 international staff and 16,400 local volunteer Coaches. Programming in Canada includes the enhancement of education in priority schools and the Promoting Life-skills in Aboriginal Youth (PLAY) program, which is partnered with 57 First Nations communities and urban Aboriginal organizations across Ontario and Manitoba.