Sudbury Cubs team owner Mark Burgess (left) and managing director Blaine Smith (right) introduce Indigenous community relations leader Fletcher Dominic Fletcher. Supplied
Dominic Fletcher to serve as Indigenous community relations leader for the NOJHL club
Dominic Fletcher says he has been inspired by watching his son Maverick develop into a hockey player good enough to be drafted by the OHL’s Erie Otters.
As an Indigenous youth, Dominic said Maverick had to overcome obstacles in pursuing his hockey dreams.
It’s a path that Fletcher, just appointed as Indigenous community relations leader for the Sudbury Cubs of the NOJHL, hopes to make easier for other Indigenous kids with similar goals.
“I am honoured to accept the position with the Sudbury Cubs as their Indigenous community relations leader,” he said in a release. “It is important for the Cubs to become a junior hockey organization that leads by initiating the reconciliation process and engages with local communities surrounding us in the Robinson Huron territory.
“The Cubs organization recognizes the importance of providing junior hockey opportunities for players here in Greater Sudbury and most of their players come from local communities. Those players include several Indigenous players with great talents.
“Many times, these youngsters do not receive the exposure that they deserve and some will give up on their dreams. Some parents and kids make unbelievable sacrifices to be able to play the game that they love. Watching the development of my son Maverick has been an inspiration for me.”
Maverick, 16, is a goalie from Garson who played for the Soo Greyhounds U18 AAA and the Soo Thunderbirds clubs last year. The Erie Otters made him their second-round choice, 22nd overall, in the OHL Under-18 Priority Selection.
“Despite the obstacles that he faced, he never gave up hope ….” his dad noted. “His dreams as a young athlete have inspired me to do the work, open doors and create opportunities for our First Nation athletes.”
Cubs team owner Mark Burgess and managing director Blaine Smith introduced Fletcher this week.
“It is inspiring to partner with motivated people that have the passion and desire to support their community like Dominic,” Smith said. “His goal of giving back to our community and to those that need support matches perfectly with the Cubs movement.
“We can’t wait to see all of the great achievements that Dominic has already begun to work towards this season.”
Fletcher will lead the Cubs organization in new initiatives including, but not limited to:
– Forging new connections with Indigenous communities across Northern Ontario.
– Supporting and hosting hockey equipment drives for Indigenous minor hockey programs.
– Recognizing Indigenous events including the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation and Indigenous hockey.
– Supporting tournaments.
– Identifying Indigenous hockey talent that will be able to play for the Sudbury Cubs one day.
– Networking with businesses that are interested in supporting Indigenous youth and/or junior hockey.
It won’t take long for Fletcher and the Cubs to engage in Indigenous activities for the new season, which starts next month. The Cubs will celebrate the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation when they host the French River Rapids on Friday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.
The game will be played at the Centennial Arena in Hanmer as the Cubs continue their goal of playing league games in as many towns in the Greater Sudbury area as possible.
Tickets for this game are available by contacting the Cubs office at email@example.com or calling 705-525-8375.
Cubs individual game tickets are available to adults for $15, while juniors and seniors are $10 and children 12 and younger are $5.
In addition, the Cubs will also be installing “Every Child Matters” rink boards in the Countryside and Centennial arenas beginning Sept. 29 in honour of the missing children, the families left behind and the survivors of the reviled Canadian residential school system.