OTTAWA – The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) today launched the “Big Joe and Friends Kids Club,” a club for kids that provides them with a range of amenities including the new “Big Joe and the Return of Football” children’s book, available in English and in French. The launch took place at Dovercourt Community Centre with REDBLACKS linebacker Anton McKenzie on hand to read the new book to kids attending the Centre’s summer camp.
“Literacy is critical for success in our society and getting kids interested in reading at an early age is a great start,” said McKenzie. “The Big Joe book is a fun story and I think it’ll be a book that parents will enjoy reading with their kids at bedtime, over and over again.”
Written by Ottawa journalist Mark Sutcliffe and illustrated by Julie Lefebvre, the book tells the story of REDBLACKS mascot Big Joe helping a group of kids discover Ottawa’s storied CFL football past while building Ottawa’s CFL football future at the new TD Place at Lansdowne. The book also teaches that with teamwork and determination, great things are possible.
“I’m delighted to see the Big Joe and Friends Kids Club get off the ground,” said Jeff Hunt, President of OSEG Sports. “It’s a great way to introduce the next generation of fans to what we hope will be a lifetime passion for sports, and it encourages families to spend time together and create lasting memories at a game. The Club membership is for all three of our sports teams so we’ll provide year-round family entertainment and teach some positive life lessons in a fun way.”
The Big Joe and the Return of Football book is free for members of Big Joe’s Kids Club. Enrollment in the Club is also free for the standard membership, which comes with the book, a ticket to an Ottawa Fury FC game, a ticket to an Ottawa 67’s game, a Big Joe and Friends colouring sheet, a personalized birthday email greeting from Big Joe and exclusive opportunities to meet players and attend other events. There’s also a VIP Kid’s Club membership for $25 which includes a ticket to attend a REDBLACKS game at TD Place, a mini-football, mini-soccer ball, REDBLACKS stickers and eye blacks, the book and all the other amenities in the standard membership package. All kids 14 and under are welcome to join the Club.