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Hydro One and the Coaches Association of Ontario provide game-changing grants to 38 Indigenous coaches to boost representation in sports leadership

by ahnationtalk on June 16, 20231021 Views

Hydro One and the Coaches Association of Ontario provide game-changing grants to 38 Indigenous coaches to boost representation in sports leadership

 Mike Richon, assistant coach of the G’Chimnissing team, will use his grant to share the inspiring power of sport and build the self-esteem of his players

TORONTO, June 15, 2023  – Today, Hydro One and the Coaches Association of Ontario (CAO) announced the 38 recipients of Hydro One’s Indigenous Hockey Coaching Grant. Coaches from more than 25 Indigenous communities across Ontario received funding to increase Indigenous representation in sports leadership.

Grant recipient, Mike Richon of the G’Chimnissing hockey team from Beausoleil First Nation hopes to continue to motivate his players, while offering a safe and encouraging space to nurture their growing athletic abilities. “Being a part of a league is important to these young athletes, it promotes leadership development and a healthy sense of competition,” said Mike Richon. “A huge part of building inclusion and self-esteem is ‘looking’ the part. This grant will enable us to buy new jerseys for our players, among other essentials.”

“A coach has the power to inspire generations of youth to excel in not only sport but in everything they do,” said Jeremy Cross, Executive Director, Coaches Association of Ontario. “Each day, we support coaches across Ontario in creating safe and positive experiences for all athletes. We are thrilled for the recipients of Hydro One’s new grant and are excited to watch them inspire and encourage young players of this magnificent game.”

“Being part of a team is an invaluable experience, and Hydro One is proud to help make hockey more inclusive, safe and fun for everyone,” said Penny Favel, Vice President, Indigenous Relations, Hydro One. “Coaches are powerful role models and leaders to their athletes, teams and communities. This grant will provide more opportunities for Indigenous coaches to share the power of sport.”

The following coaches and communities were selected to receive up to $1,500 from Hydro One and the Coaches Association of Ontario:

  • Adam Bernard, U13 Eganville Eagles; U9 Valley Storm; U13 Algonquin Jr Thunderbirds – Eganville
  • Adam Dunseath, Batchewana Thunderbirds U15 Bantam Rec. – Sault Ste. Marie
  • Albert Sutherland, Constance Lake Oji-CreesConstance Lake First Nation
  • Andrew Corbiere, M’Chigeeng Thunderbirds U13 Peewee Rec.; M’Chigeeng U15 Bantam Competitive – M’Chigeeng First Nation
  • Blake Naponse, Atikamekheng Stingers U11 Atom Rec. – Lively
  • Brent Assinewai, Atikmekshang Goon Squad U18 Girls; U13 Boys Nipissing Warriors & Regular Season; U18AA North Bay Ice Boltz – Spring Bay
  • Brian Bissaillion, MississaugaBlind River
  • Casey Abitong, Sagamok Eagles U9 Novice Rec. – Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation
  • Catherine Wesley, Attawapiskat Bantams Ice Hawks – Attawapiskat
  • Chad Jones, Saugeen Stars U7 Tyke Rec. – Southampton
  • Clarence Trapper, Moose Cree Scrappers U15 Bantam Competitive – Cochrane
  • Daniel Peltier, Sagamok Eagles U18 – Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation
  • Darcey Sim, Batchewana Thunderbirds U15 Bantam Rec. – Sault Ste. Marie
  • Darryl Williams Jones, Garden River Braves U7 Tyle Rec.; Garden River Braves U13 Peewee Rec. – Garden River First Nation
  • Debra Nolan, Garden River Braves U11 Atom Rec. – Garden River First Nation
  • Gordie Taylor, Hockey Equality – Curve Lake First Nation
  • Heather Cook, Akwesasne U18 Midget Competitive – USA
  • James Panamick, M’Chigeeng Thunderbirds U15 Rec. – M’Chigeeng First Nation
  • Jamie King, Wasauksing Islanders U15 Bantam Rec. – Parry Sound
  • Jamie Cameron, Saugeen Stars U13 PeeWee Girls – Saugeen First Nation
  • Jason Young, Missanabie Cree – Toronto
  • Jonathan Fisher, Walpole Island Hawks U15 Bantam Rec. – Wallaceburg
  • Jonathan Riberdy, Zhiibaahaasing First Nations Penguins Bantam – Zhiibaahaasing First Nation
  • Justin McGregor, Whitefish River Warriors – Birch Island
  • Justin Smith, Kettle and Stony Point Thunder U13 Peewee Rec. – Kettle Point
  • Kayla Soney, Walpole Island Peewee Hawks & Wallaceburg Lakers U9 – Walpole Island
  • Kyle Gee, Six Nations Lady Leafs U18 Girls – Caledonia
  • Leonard Peltier, Wiikwemkoong Lightning U9 Novice Rec. – Wiikwemkoong Unceeded Territory
  • Marvin McLeod, Chi Genebek U13 Peewee Rec. – Cutler
  • Mason William George, Kettle and Stony Point U13 Peewee Rec. – Kettle Point
  • Mike Rochon, G’Chimnissing First Nation – Parry Sound
  • Mike Wilson, U15 Girls Six Nations Smash – Port Dover
  • Pat Primeau, Nipissing Warriors U13 Peewee Competitive – North Bay
  • Philip Penasse, Nipissing Warriors U13 Peewee Girls – North Bay
  • Rodger Martin, Six Nations Blackhawk U11 Atom Girls – Hagersville
  • Shanna Lesage, Moose Cree Scrappers U15 Bantam Rec. – Moose Factory
  • Sherry Tabobondung, Wasauksing Islanders U7 Tyke Rec. – Parry Sound
  • Wendy Coppaway, RFN U13 Peewee Rec. – Orillia

Initially announced at the Little Native Hockey League (Little NHL) tournament in Mississauga in March, Hydro One’s Indigenous Hockey Coaching Grant aims to help remove barriers and make hockey more affordable and accessible to coaches and young players from Indigenous communities. The grant will help assist with out-of-pocket expenses incurred for such items as equipment, travel, childcare and training.

“First Nations inclusion and representation in sport is the first step in getting our youth excited about being on a team,” said Patrick Madahbee, Acting President, Little NHL and Member of the Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation. “This grant from Hydro One and the CAO will have continued positive impacts on the teams, the coaches and the players by knocking down any barriers that may have held them back in the past.”

This year’s Little NHL tournament saw more than 2,400 Indigenous children and their coaches participate in a fun-filled, week-long tournament. Hydro One’s Indigenous Hockey Coaching Grant builds on the company’s existing partnership with the CAO and the Little NHL, which has been bringing Indigenous athletes together for close to half a century.

Through its community investment program, Hydro One focuses on building safe communities in Ontario, and directs at least 20 per cent of its corporate donations and sponsorships to Indigenous communities and initiatives that benefit Indigenous communities. The company also supports programs, events and initiatives that focus on safety training and safe play. Some of its partners include The ACT Foundation and Coaches Association of Ontario.

For more information about the grant and the partnership between Hydro One and CAO, please visit

About the Coaches Association of Ontario (CAO)
The Coaches Association of Ontario is an independent, non-profit organization that supports coaches from community to high performance across all sports in Ontario. Providing coach development, funding opportunities, and events that support, recognize and represent all coaches across the province.
For more information, please visit, follow us on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

Hydro One Limited (TSX: H)
Hydro One Limited, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is Ontario’s largest electricity transmission and distribution provider with approximately 1.5 million valued customers, approximately $31.5 billion in assets as at December 31, 2022, and annual revenues in 2022 of approximately $7.8 billion.

Our team of approximately 9,300 skilled and dedicated employees proudly build and maintain a safe and reliable electricity system which is essential to supporting strong and successful communities. In 2022, Hydro One invested approximately $2.1 billion in its transmission and distribution networks, and supported the economy through buying approximately $1.9 billion of goods and services.

We are committed to the communities where we live and work through community investment, sustainability and diversity initiatives. We are designated as a Sustainable Electricity Leader™ by Electricity Canada.

Hydro One Limited’s common shares are listed on the TSX and certain of Hydro One Inc.’s medium term notes are listed on the NYSE. Additional information can be accessed at or

For further information: Media can contact Hydro One Media Relations 24 hours a day at 1-877-506-7584 (toll-free in Ontario only) or 416-345-6868; Coaches Association of Ontario,, Tel: 416-426-7086


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