March 29, 2024

6-foot-5 Brayden Lenius tells some “tall” stories during Rider Reading appearance

Brayden Lenius, who candidly uses his highly relatable life story to encourage and inspire others, is an open book in another respect.

On Wednesday, the Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver read to students at Regina’s Thomson Community School during one of the many player appearances he has made during the off-season.

He was welcomed into one of the classrooms by Mrs. Wolf and her Grade 2-3 students.

“Me and my friends saw you in the hallway,” Lenius was informed by a new friend shortly after he sat down at the front of the classroom, “and you said, ‘Hello! Hello!’ ”

There was much more to say when Lenius met the youngsters as part of the Saskatchewan Roughrider Foundation’s Rider Reading program.

Lenius read them two books — Nerdy Birdy (by Aaron Reynolds) and Off the Wall (Theodore Taylor III) — from cover to cover while accentuating the importance of literacy.

As part of the presentation, Lenius acknowledged that he “struggled” with reading as a kid but eventually embraced the written word, its importance and its wide-ranging benefits.

Mrs. Wolf’s students are already nicely along that path, as evidenced by the fact that they requested Nerdy Birdie.

At the outset of the session, the 6-foot-5 Lenius promised the students a surprise — before reading to them and fielding a variety of questions and comments …

How did you get so tall?

“My father was tall and so is my mom. Natural genetics.”

You’re even taller than Mr. Filson!

“When I’m approaching some doorways, I have to duck or I’ll bang my head.”

Why are your shoes so clean?

“I only wear them when it’s nice out.”

How old were you when you started playing football?

“I was around your age, maybe even younger.”

What was your dream when you were growing up?

“My dream was to play football. It came true, which is really awesome.”

I was at a football game and a bunch of players signed my hat and one of them looked like you.

“It probably was me!”

What were your favourite sports growing up?

“Football, basketball and rugby.”

What is the surprise. Will you tell us?

“Not just yet!”

I just moved to Canada a couple of months ago.

“Welcome! I hope it’s not too cold for you.”

You sound like my uncle.

“That’s cool! Tell your uncle I say hello.”

With that, it was time for the aforementioned surprise.


Lenius proceeded to give each student a player card that included his autograph, whereupon the

students gathered around him and posed for a group photo.

Lenius proceeded to chat with them and answer a few more questions in the short time that remained in the first period of the afternoon.

He exchanged a series of hugs, fist-bumps and high-fives over his final few minutes with Mrs. Wolf’s students.

Then it was time to meet with an older group of youngsters at Thomson Community School, as part of the Roughrider Foundation’s Win With Wellness program, so Lenius and his unmistakably clean shoes proceeded toward the door and another floor.

  • Rider Reading and Win With Wellness are funded by donations to the Saskatchewan Roughrider Foundation. To make a contribution, or for more information, visit the Foundation website.