Friday, November 27, 2015
The Cariboo Cougars, in conjunction with the Holick family, will be hosting “Mental Health Awareness Night” during their 4:30PM game against the Okanagan Rockets on Saturday, November 28, 2015 at Kin 1 in Prince George.
Cougars Head Coach Trevor Sprague was inspired to host a Mental Health Awareness Night after working with Mark Holick, Head Coach of the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Prince George Cougars. Mark’s son Cooper quit hockey last season due to the immense pressure he felt while playing the game.
“I used to be one of those tough northern guys who wanted to tell everybody to suck it up and keep going, but then it hit my family,” explains Sprague. “We're close with the Holicks, and after seeing Cooper struggle, you start to see those signs everywhere... It's a huge part of the game, but it's not easy to talk about mental illness.”
Sprague felt it is best to face these issues as early as possible. Cooper Holick will meet the Cariboo Cougars for a frank discussion before joining the team for a ceremonial puck drop against the Okanagan Rockets.
On the other end of the ice, Okanagan Rockets forward Myles Mattila has been an advocate for mental health awareness in sports, particularly hockey, for several years. Matilla was recognized as a Northern Health Community Star due to his work promoting youth mental health. Mattila has spread the word for mindcheck.ca, a partnership between Fraser Health, BC Mental Health & Substance Services, and the Provincial Health Services Authority that addresses mental health in a manner that is accessible for youth. It features a broad range of topics, including depression, mood and anxiety issues; coping with stress, alcohol and substance misuse, body image, eating disorders, and more.
The Cougars have hosted multiple nights for important causes over the years. Their Breast Cancer Awareness fundraiser last month raised more than $3,200 dollars in donations.
The BC Hockey Major Midget League was established in 2004 to provide elite level 15, 16 and 17 year olds an opportunity to play within their own age group at a high level and be developed for the next level of hockey. These teams have an opportunity each year to compete for the National Midget Championship.
For more information about the BC Hockey Major Midget League, please visit the League website at www.bcmml.net
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