Age 14, (HOCKEY SASKATCHEWAN)
WHAT THE ASSIST FUND MEANS TO ME: JOCELYN CAMPEAU
The Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund allowed Jocelyn’s son Brennan to build relationships with his coaches, and build confidence
As a single mom of three, I want my kids to experience life differently than I did growing up in Saskatchewan.
As an Indigenous woman, I grew up experiencing hardships and trauma, but I have worked hard to break the cycle of residential schools in my children’s lives.
My oldest, Brennan, is 14, and he works hard in athletics. Hockey is a huge part of his life.
I became a single mom at 18, in my first year of university. Finishing my degree was important to me, because I wanted to provide and set an example for Brennan.
He did CanSkate in Saskatoon, Sask., while I was finishing up my degree. He always wanted to skate with a stick on the ice. He would have a hockey stick and ball with him that he would play with all the time. When it came time to register him for hockey, it was a no-brainer.
When he was four years old he played his first game in Kamsack, Sask., and he quickly fell in love. He is in his second year of U15 with the Saskatoon Minor Hockey Association, and he also plays with the Saskatoon Native Crushers.
Brennan plays on any First Nations hockey team he can get on just to keep playing, including at the Tony Cote Winter Games (every other year) and with the Keeseekoose First Nation during the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) tournament.
When Brennan first started playing, it was about having fun. Now, in addition to the fun, it is about competition, being challenged and building his skillset. For him, that’s fun.
Through hockey, he has built healthy relationships with his coaches, who have become his male mentors. He has a huge hockey family, and the game has created a special community for Brennan.
None of this would be possible without the financial support we received through the Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund.
Previously, we used the Lace ‘Em Up Foundation to get funding support. We learned more about the Assist Fund through that partnership, which is in place so kids across Canada can continue to play hockey.
The Assist Fund covers Brennan’s registration, which is nice because I use what I would have spent to register him to instead buy him equipment, which he needs as he grows and gets older. It also means I have a little more money to make sure my other two kids can participate in whatever activities they want.
Brennan understands what the Assist Fund means for him and our family, and that he gets to continue to play hockey because of the funding.
As a First Nations family, it is important for Brennan to see other Indigenous people play the game.
By bringing more Indigenous kids into sports, it creates new opportunities in breaking those cycles that have been created by residential schools and inter-generational trauma in Canada.
Through the power of hockey, Brennan is getting to experience life differently than I did.
I can only hope that hockey continues to provide a healthy outlet for my son so he can achieve his dreams of earning a scholarship to keep playing.