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The honour has been awarded every year since 2010 to a Canadian CFL player who best demonstrates the attributes of Canada’s veterans: strength, perseverance, courage, comradeship and contribution to Canadian communities. The award recognizes Jake Gaudaur for embodying these attributes both as the CFL’s longest-standing Commissioner and as a distinguished veteran of the Second World War.
“It’s an honour for me to have my name associated with that of Jake Gaudaur. Too often, we hear that football players are true warriors, but what we put our bodies and our minds through over the course of a season is nothing compared to the sacrifices of our military,” declared Brodeur-Jourdain, who was the Alouettes nominee for a second consecutive year. “I am very happy to accept this award in front of my peers. My message to you and to everybody out there is to persevere and always believe in yourself. Fully commit yourself to whatever it is you are doing”
The former Université Laval Rouge et Or has demonstrated perseverance throughout his career, as he was chosen with the last pick of the 2008 CFL Canadian Draft. A few weeks later he was cut by the Alouettes, and he returned to Laval for a final collegiate season. He then returned with the Alouettes the following year, helping his hometown team win back-to-back Grey Cups on 2009 and 2010.
The Saint-Hyacinthe, QC native made 97 consecutive starts at centre before suffering a torn ACL and MCL on the second to last game of the 2015 season. With the season on the line, he did not want to let his teammates down and returned to the field to complete the game. Following surgery and countless rehab hours, Brodeur-Jourdain returned to the field in 2016, before resuming as the starting centre in 2017.
Throughout this setback, he maintained his role as a charismatic leader on the club and welcomed new teammates with open arms. Always implicated in the community, he has been one of the prominent players of the Together at School with the Alouettes program, where he meets up with hundreds of students throughout the province, helping them make the right decisions and to stay in school.
The former Cégep de Saint-Jean Géant becomes the third Alouettes player in eight years to earn this award, as his former teammates Jeff Perrett (2015) and Shea Emry (2013) also saw their names engraved on the trophy.