The Kelowna Chiefs host their home-opener this Friday night and the late Grant Sheridan will be honoured by Rutland’s team and fans.
Sheridan died earlier this year after a battle with bacterial meningitis, and one Chiefs’ player has organized a scholarship through the MindRight for Athletes Society in memorial of the team’s former owner and president.
“Grant was a very special person who will be dearly missed by all,” said Myles Mattila, founder of MindRight. “Grant and I had very similar fundamental beliefs in the core values of hockey, education, and community involvement, which included mental health.”
“It is with heavy hearts the Chiefs will be playing our home opener in memory of Grant. There will not be a dry eye in the house.”
The Remembering Grant Sheridan scholarship will recognize a Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) player and student for their commitment, community involvement and academic achievement. It will be initiated at the home-opener
MindRight, a mental health program that helps young hockey players battle the stigma of mental health and to connect players with resources, was created by Mattila in 2014. His mental health initiatives and programs were adopted by the KIJHL in November 2018, with a lot of support coming from Sheridan who was a prominent voice in the league.
Mattila and Sheridan shared similar views when it came to the physical and mental health of the players in the league. MindRight’s wellness programs focus on early intervention and education on players’ personal mental health and the health of others.
Mattila won the Chief’s Scholastic Player of the Year last year during Kelowna’s record-breaking season — an award presented to him by Sheridan.
“Grant made me aware that he believed in me and he was proud of my representation of the Chiefs. I’m very fortunate to have met Grant, he was a great owner, general manager, good friend and mentor.”
The Chiefs home-opener and Grant Sheridan memorial game is Friday night at 7 p.m. at the Rutland Arena.
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