Brandon, MB. – The Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings have been recognized for their ongoing support of the aboriginal community in western Manitoba.
The WHL club was one of several local businesses recognized Wednesday at a special awards ceremony at the Victoria Inn, hosted by the Interprovincial Association on Native Employment’s Westman Chapter.
The Wheat Kings, who were represented at the event by general manager Grant Armstrong, joined Alternative Landscaping, the Brandon Chamber of Commerce and Spearing Service Ltd. for their inclusive hiring practices that incorporate indigenous people.
The annual Champions of Aboriginal Employment Awards Luncheon continues to serve an important role in Brandon, organizing chair Dayle Hughson said.
“It’s very important to encourage young aboriginal people that they are going to be able to get jobs, that they should continue their education and go to university, finish high school, go to ACC; it just helps them to look at people who have been successful,” she said. “It just kind of gives them something to drive for.”
In addition to assisting the aboriginal community through a number of the hockey club’s community outreach programs, the 2016-17 Wheat Kings featured 18-year old left-winger Linden McCorrister of Peguis, Manitoba.
A 2-year WHL veteran, McCorrister was a member of Manitoba’s bronze medal winning team at the 2013 Western Canada Challenge Cup. He was Brandon’s seventh round selection in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft in Calgary.
Earlier this year, McCorrister was named the Manitoba Aboriginal Male Athlete of the Year Award winner for 2016.
A member of the 2016 WHL Champion Wheat Kings, Linden delivered the Ed Chynoweth Cup home to Peguis last summer and participated in the Community Parade, where youth, Elders and Community leaders celebrated his victory.
This award is presented annually and are selected from nominations detailing their positive roles in sports and the community; their personal commitment to athletic development; achievements in sports and their concern for holistic development.
As a role model, he engages the youth in Peguis during the off-season, encouraging and supporting the youth and inviting them to train alongside of him.