Ollson Sports Group Comes to Listuguj

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Over the March break, Ottawa organization, Ollson Sports Group came to Listuguj host to a weeklong power skating and stickhandling hockey camp. The camps were held for youths ages 5-15 and took place at the Civic Centre in Campbellton. These young hockey players were coached by former professional hockey player, John Ollson and Logan Buchanan. Michael Isaac, the Communications Manager for the Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government, arranged for the hockey camp to come to the community with the support of Recreation, Brighter Futures, and the Office of Chief and Council.

With over 35 years of hockey training and coaching experience, Ollson has also played on a number of teams such as the Ottawa 67’s and the Canadian National Team, and has worked with the Chicago Blackhawks Organization. When it comes to holding these hockey camps, John Ollson said he loves traveling and visiting new places and communities. He was very impressed with Listuguj and the cohesiveness of Pointe-à -la-Croix and Campbellton. “I also love working with the kids you know, it’s fun to see them learning, from our standpoint,” said Ollson. The hockey camp also consisted of youth in our community and surrounding areas, who volunteered their time to help assist with the camp. When asked what advice Ollson could give to young Listuguj hockey players, he mentioned the work ethic and values that come along with the sport. The youth participating in the sport will learn diligence and teamwork. “If you don’t get it right away, it doesn’t mean you should give up on it, it takes a lot of repetition to be good at it,” said Ollson.

Michael Isaac has always had a passion for hockey and runs the Listuguj Pugtew, a weekend hockey program in collaboration with the Listuguj Youth & Family Centre. Isaac felt the camp would be a fun and beneficial experience for Listuguj athletes. “I seen this as an opportunity to give the kids of Listuguj a higher-level experience to help their development and Ollson Sports Group didn’t disappoint,” said Isaac. It’s no secret that Listuguj is home to some very talented and skilled athletes, including hockey players. Isaac said, “This community has produced QMJHL players, Junior players, Senior players with some even drafted to the NHL.  Although these dreams may be a few years down the road for the youth that took part in the Ollson Sports Group camp over the March break, the significant improvement that the kids showed just over a week was significant. This gives me great pride to say that if these youth stick with it, Listuguj will continue to produce good hockey players in the future.”

By Ann Marie Jacques

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