Doman’s Lions a reflection of work ethic, heritage

TORONTO — Amar Doman knows that in football, just like in life, you have to work as hard as possible to go where you want to go.

The BC Lions owner joined The Waggle Podcast to discuss Asian Heritage Month and the big plans in store for the team this season as they get set to host the 111th Grey Cup this November.

Doman’s family immigrated to British Columbia in the early 20th century, building a business legacy that has lived through generations.

“It’s 100% the fuel for sure, seeing how my grandparents came from India to Canada in 1906, my grandfather couldn’t speak English, becomes a logger and gets our family eventually in the lumber and forest products,” said Doman in his conversation with Donnovan Bennett and Henoc Muamba about how his upbringing and background impact his mindset.

“Just the journey of starting with less than nothing, not being treated well. Those things weren’t that long ago, right here across the water on Vancouver Island where I was born, in Victoria. Does that motivate someone? Absolutely. It does make you want to work hard, trying to beat everyone out.”

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That mentality of having to overcome adversity to find success is one of the aspects that drew Doman to the sport.

“What I really resonate with is football and how hard and complicated everything is every day. Every workout, every training, prep, all that stuff goes into hard work, whether it’s business or just trying to succeed and I see those same designations of difficulty and how you overcome it in the sport of football.”

The hard-work mindset is certainly present for a Lions team that has remained competitive in the West Division under Doman. BC has gone 24-12 over the last two seasons, with two trips to the Western Final.

That is a product of an organization and an owner that believe in leading by example.

“I think, number one, you have to lead and set an example, right?” answered Doman about fostering a culture. “If you’re not prepared to put in those hours, or put in that work, make those sacrifices to get to your goals, then you can’t lead a team of people, whether it’s in business, sports or anywhere. You have to lead by example and show people you’re showing up every day. You’re the first one in and you’re working hard.

“I think all that stuff resonates through to an organization no matter what it is, whether it’s a school, whether it’s a sport, business, again, I think if the leaders are acting as if and putting it in, everybody starts to follow.”

The last two seasons have set up the Leos well to compete for a chance to do something that hasn’t been done since the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2013, win a Grey Cup at home.

Doman and the Lions are making sure though that whether or not they make it to the big game, CFL fans from every corner of the country get to enjoy Vancouver hosting a game that they haven’t since 2014.

“We want this Grey Cup to be something that Canada has never seen before,” said Doman. “There’s a generation of fans, no matter who’s going to be in that Grey Cup, that have not experienced this in Vancouver. There’s a whole 10 or 11 years missing here. And for that demographic interested in the BC Lions, in the CFL again, we’re going to introduce them to Canada’s biggest party in November.”