WINNIPEG – Their playbook contains more raises than runs.
More throws than passes.
More flicks than kicks.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ stunt team graces the gridiron during every home game. A spin-off of the club’s cheerleaders.
“Sometimes we’re throwing the girls twenty feet in the air and having them flip,” Nick Verburg, the stunt team’s choreographer said. “Sometimes we’re putting people on people on people.”
Providing elegant albeit exhausting entertainment.
“I’ve done rugby, ultimate and martial arts,” stunter Kyle Belligham said. “This is the most tiring. I’m drained after practices.”
The team is one of four co-ed stunt squads in the entire CFL. The guys were added just a few years ago in 2012. None of the performers are paid.
“They do it at their own expense, their own gas, their own mileage,” manager Jennifer Mathieson said. “They take days off work and days away from their families.”
All for the rush of flipping in front of fans.
“It’s definitely exciting,” stunter Mackenzie Gmiterek said. “You draw energy from the crowd. When the crowd is super excited, it’s so much fun.”
The team though doesn’t just catch the eye of people in the stands but also players on the opposing sideline.
“There’s been a couple times where we’ve thrown someone and you look over and the guys are like ‘Ok. That’s impressive’,” Verburg said.
Stunning stunts that are hopefully a little distracting for the visiting team.