BC Lions’ Games Just Got More Autism Friendly

BC Lions’ Games Just Got More Autism Friendly

The BC Lions and Pacific Autism Family Network are creating a first in the Canadian Football League.

The BC Lions Partner with Pacific Autism Family Network to create a more comfortable experience for those with Autism and their families

The BC Lions and Pacific Autism Family Network are creating a first in the Canadian Football League. The two organizations have joined forces to take steps at providing fans on the Autism Spectrum a more comfortable experience by creating the GAMECHANGERS program. Together, they aim to ensure that families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder can attend, have a better experience, and cheer on their CFL team at all home games at BC Place.

The program gives families who are a part of the Pacific Autism Family Network the opportunity to request tickets and be seated in a thoughtfully selected reserved area, as well as receive Toolkits for each individual attending with Autism or a related disorder. The Toolkits contain items to make the game more user friendly and include noise cancelling headphones, earplugs, sensory toys, and a visual schedule for game day.

“As anyone in our organization will tell you, football is family,” said Lions VP, Business George Chayka. “We are both proud and honoured to have an opportunity to join with the Pacific Autism Family Network and bring the joy, excitement and fun of BC Lions football to those who would not normally find it possible to attend. Our community is stronger when we go the extra yard to be inclusive and the GAMECHANGER program is a perfect example of what we can do together.”

Families who are a part of Pacific Autism Family Network, will be notified of upcoming BC Lions’ home games and given the opportunity to attend as part of the GAMECHANGERS program. Families who attend will be sent their tickets in advance, along with instructions for arrival, and a separate visual schedule that supports the lead up to game day.

“There are so many families in BC who unfortunately cannot attend stadium events because it can be too overwhelming for our loved ones with Autism or related disorders,” says Pacific Autism Family Network Co-Founder, Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia. “We have such an incredible community partner in the BC Lions; they truly want to ensure an inclusive and fun experience for everyone, and together, we are taking steps to make that happen.”

To learn more and take part in the GAMECHANGERS program join the Pacific Autism Family Network here: http://bit.ly/2urpcHv

Photos from GAMECHANGERS kick off at Home Opener: http://bit.ly/2u7YKBn

The BC Lions and Pacific Autism Family Network are aiming to bring on a 3rd partner that will support with the growth and long term sustainability of GAMECHANGERS. If interested in partnership opportunities please contact, George Chayka, Vice President of Business – call 604.930.5466 or email gchayka@bclions.com.

About Pacific Autism Family Network

The Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN) is a charitable organization with a mandate to serve the lifespan needs of individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder and all related disorders. Founded by parents Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia and Sergio Cocchia, with the vision to break down the barriers to access across the province, the PAFN has collaborated with over 60 organizations to address essential lifespan needs for those affected by autism, all within one network. In November, the PAFN opened their first location – the 60,000 sq.ft. GoodLife Fitness Family Autism Hub in Richmond, and will open smaller spoke locations in other areas of B.C. in 2017. The network aims to ensure that all British Columbians have access to state-of-the-art resources for assessment, treatment, education-support and research, providing a “one-stop-shop” for families looking for help in their navigation of available information and services.

About BC Lions
The BC Lions Football Club is Vancouver’s and British Columbia’s most successful professional sports organization with six Grey Cup titles: 1964, 1985, 1994, 2000, 2006 and 2011. Drawing on pride, decades of tradition, passion and a spirit of excellence, the BC Lions Football Club seeks to touch the lives of our community in a positive way and is dedicated to serving partners, sponsors and fans.

Media Contacts

Pacific Autism Family Network
Laura Lombardi
Vice President, Foundation

BC Lions Football Club
Jamie Cartmell
Director, Communications