Cree hockey players will have a second chance at furthering their careers thanks to a new prospects camp that is set to begin in late June in Ouje-Bougoumou.
Tyson Gull and Jeremy Jolly were angry enough at their missed opportunity in the sport to create the Aboriginal Prospects Opportunity Camp.
“We started this camp to provide opportunities to Crees,” said Tyson Gull. “Maybe in a few years we’ll go across Canada and into the States if we can to find other Aboriginals.”
Gull added that the competition to attract scouts is fierce, but he and Jolly can guarantee between 10 and 15 scouts on hand to analyze the talent.
“There’s competition to get the scouts from places like Quebec City and Montreal.”
The June 23-30 camp, which is partnered with the Waswanipi band council and Ouje-Bougoumou Tourism, will have conditioning coaches to prepare the players and get them going mentally and physically. There will also be seminars for parents, power point presentations, as well as a focus on future goals and future prospects.
The duo talked about the next generation of kids and how they can help open doors for them.
“Our generation needs something like hockey so young kids can look up to the older guys and do the same as us or even better,” said Gull.
Jolly summed it up through his own personal experience. “It’s getting the Aboriginal youth into the game, the real way, with (hopefully) a contract to play professional hockey,” he said.
“When I used to play hockey I got drafted by Val d’Or and I tried out, got cut and went to the juniors. They wouldn’t give me a chance to prove to them what I could do. That’s what we’re planning here, to give a chance to the Aboriginal youth to show their talent to scouts from the US, Europe, and Canada.”