Former CFL player Fleiszer helps kick off Royal Vale’s Jump Rope for Heart
Former Canadian Football League player Tim Fleiszer was a special guest as Royal Vale School in NDG kicked off its participation in the 2023 Jump Rope for Heart fund-raising campaign.
Fleiszer, a Royal Vale parent, is a proponent of physical fitness and health and he addressed an assembly of elementary pupils about the importance of programs like Jump Rope for Heart, an initiative of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada to get kids active, practice healthy habits, and teach the importance of giving back.
Royal Vale School has been Quebec’s top performer in the program for two decades and Physical Education and Health teacher Norm Katz said the school should have no difficulty reaching its goal of $15,000. It raised more than twice that amount prior to the COVID pandemic in 2020 and has contributed more than $350,000 over the past 20 years.
Fleiszer, who has the distinction of winning four Grey Cups with four different teams, has enjoyed a post-football career as an agent and is involved with a tech business but he is also at the forefront of the campaign to raise awareness of concussion. He is the Canadian executive director of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Robert Cantu and Fleiszer’s Harvard teammate Chris Nowinski. Its goal is to support athletes, veterans and all affected by concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), to promote smarter sports and safer athletes through education and innovation.
“CTE is a degenerative brain disease found in athletes, military veterans, and others with a history of repetitive brain injury but right now the only way to diagnose it is after someone has died,” said Fleiszer. “We support research which will allow us to diagnose CTE when someone is alive and allow us to help them.”
The foundation also supports educational programs to promote safe sports and provides a telephone help line for those dealing with concussion.