February 03, 2016 09:00 ET

Two-Time Grey Cup Champion Shea Emry Retires From the CFL to Pursue Men's Health Advocacy and a New Outdoor Adventure Club

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 3, 2016) - Today Canadian Football League (CFL) all-star and two time Grey Cup Champion Shea Emry announces his retirement. Throughout his eight-year career, Emry has earned a reputation as a tough middle linebacker. In his time with the CFL, Emry played for three teams including six years with the Montreal Alouettes, one year with the Toronto Argonauts, and most recently in the 2015 season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

"I am sincerely grateful for my time in the CFL," adds Emry. "I want to thank the teammates, coaches, and support staff I've had the honour of working alongside throughout my career. I have fulfilled a childhood dream by being able to play in the CFL for a living. And I look forward to fulfilling more dreams and adventures in this next chapter of my career."

On and off the field Emry is regarded as a role model. A first round draft pick in 2008, he worked as a relentless defensive player, voted by his peers as the "CFL's Nastiest Player". He faced a series of concussions and struggles that reignited a childhood trauma that left him searching for identity and purpose outside the lines of the football field. After reaching a mental and professional tipping point, Emry dove deep into personal betterment and intuitively designed his own rehabilitation program, allowing him regain his professional and personal flow. Off the field Emry focused on a wellness regime that included yoga, nature immersion, mindfulness and talk therapy. Through this work and the support of trusted advisors, Emry reached new heights in his CFL career, including a nomination as Outstanding Canadian and Outstanding Defensive Player the following season.

In the years that followed he began sharing his story publicly, including an impassioned and widely shared TEDx talk about toxic silence of manliness. Furthering his platform from professional sport, Emry founded Wellmen, a highly publicized venture that is leading a movement that zeros in on redefining what is "manly".

Emry now takes his story across the country through various speaking engagements and ambassadorships. Emry has worked as Bell's Let's Talk Day ambassador since 2012 and Champion of Movember Canada's Men's Mental Health campaign. In 2013 he was awarded the Jake Gaudaur Veterans' Trophy in recognition of his advocacy and leadership in the space.

Today, with a successful CFL career behind him, Emry will continue to speak and further the movement he has created as the founder of Wellmen. From athletic endeavors to the high-pressure corporate careers, men live in a culture of expressional silence. Wellmen works to enrich the lives of men through radical experiences that propel them on physical, emotional and soulful excursions. Through adventure driven activities that included yoga, logger sports, stand up paddling, and mountain biking, Emry is championing a new era of innovative men's health advocacy.

About Wellmen

Wellmen, The Men's Adventure Club, cultivates raw outdoor excursions and brotherhood. We create recurring endorphin inducing experiences that rewild men back to nature. By evoking genuine expression, men can forge a path to thrive.

About Shea Emry

Award-winning, All-Star Middle Linebacker, Two-time Grey Cup Champion, eight-year Canadian Football League Veteran, and original Wellmen. After suffering a concussion, which put him out for the remainder of the football season in 2011, Shea found himself battling trials of the past. Negative self-talk, isolation, and an intensifying self-consciousness drew him back into the depressive state he had known as an adolescent; having been the victim of extreme childhood bullying. In early 2012 Shea answered his true calling: unmasking masculinity. He began using his platform in professional sport to share his story with youth, inspiring self-care and conversation concerning wellness and mental health. Shea is an official Ambassador and Champion for Movember Canada's Men's Mental Health campaign, Bell's 'Let's Talk Day' campaign, the David Suzuki Foundation, and Canadian Men's Health Foundation. He sits on the Advisory Board for Watson Centre for Brain Health - a new facility based out of the University of British Columbia creating and testing programs that improve life-long brain health.

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