Donation from Jenny SOWIETA (R.I.P. Rick)
“A wise man once said that the meaning of life is to find your gift, and the purpose of life is to give it away. As a young man Rick Sowieta found he had a gift for football, and he spent the rest of his life giving back to the game at every level”
- CFL Commissioner, Randy Ambrosie
CFL Commissioner, Randy Ambrosie, spoke of the late great Rick Sowieta after being posthumously presented the commissioner’s award in November 2017. Rick passed away from pancreatic cancer in August 2017. His was a life marked with dedication, leadership and more importantly giving back. Even now Rick continues to give back in support of two things he spent his life helping: football and youth. We were lucky at 3rd and 1 Football to benefit from his generosity earlier this year through Rick’s wife Jenny. We were gifted with a donation of footballs, hurdles and other training equipment. This equipment will help us provide kids an opportunity to play and love football as Rick did.
Rick’s family immigrated to Canada from Belgium where they quickly made Ottawa their home. It was here in Ottawa where Rick first discovered his love of football. Rick played high school football at Glebe Collegiate and junior football for the Ottawa Sooners. Rick then went on to play college football at the University of Richmond and then signed with the Toronto Argonauts in 1977. Rick returned home to Ottawa playing for the Rough Riders from 1979-1986 where he was an Eastern Division All-Star.
Following his football playing days, Rick coached community football with the Canterbury Mustangs, St. Mark/St. Patrick’s high schools, and for the University of Ottawa. He also coached, junior football with the Ottawa Sooners and semi-pro with the Ottawa Bootleggers. He was a member of the CFL and Rough Rider Alumni Associations and served on the Selection Committee of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
Rick remained active in the community and ran Rick’s Cantina for 15 years. When Rick was diagnosed with cancer the city he called home for so many years rallied around him; it was a small way to pay back a man that had done so much for so many.
Moreover, thank you Jenny and the entire Sowieta family for thinking about our organization for this special donation. Rick led by example, courage and enthusiasm and embodied what 3rd and 1 Football represents. We will continue to follow in his footsteps by working diligently to develop leaders on and off the field.