Former Quesnel resident Myles Mattila, captain of the Kelowna Chiefs and creator of the MindRight for Athletes Society, is one of 25 people across the province to be honoured with the 2020 B.C. Achievement Community Award. (MindRight photo)

Former Quesnel resident Myles Mattila, captain of the Kelowna Chiefs and creator of the MindRight for Athletes Society, is one of 25 people across the province to be honoured with the 2020 B.C. Achievement Community Award. (MindRight photo)

Myles Mattila wins B.C. Achievement Community Award

The hockey player and creator of MindRight for Athletes Society is one of 25 winners

The B.C. Achievement Foundation’s Community Award celebrates British Columbians who go above and beyond in their service towards building stronger communities throughout the province.

“The Community Award is the cornerstone of B.C. Achievement’s mission to honour excellence and inspire achievement in the province of B.C.,” according to the B.C. Achievement Foundation’s website. “The award recognizes the contributions of extraordinary British Columbians who build better, stronger, more resilient communities and shine as examples of dedication and service.”

We are all a part of one or more communities which we have the ability to grow and strengthen through positive action, and few British Columbians have shown their ability to do so more than hockey player and mental health ambassador Myles Mattila.

Mattila, originally from Quesnel who is now living in Kelowna, is one of 25 recipients of this year’s prestigious B.C. Achievement Community Award for his mental health advocacy, concussion awareness and civic engagement.

“I actually had no idea that I was nominated for it, so it was quite the surprise,” said Mattila. “I thought it was fantastic and it really added some positivity, especially in a tough time like this with self-isolation and not being able to connect with others — having this type of positivity was fantastic, and I was really honoured to be one of the recipients of the award.”

Mattila became involved in mental health advocacy at the young age of 14 when he observed a hockey teammate was going through a rough time and in an effort to help his friend, reached out to their coach for help.

Unfortunately, their coach did not have the knowledge or training needed to handle the situation and resolved to remove the distressed teen from the team rather than find avenues to improve his mental health.

This was absolutely not the result that Mattila wanted or expected, and from that day on, he began to educate himself on mental health. In the years that followed, Mattila created the MindRight for Athletes Society, a non-profit organization that strives to promote wellness and positive living by increasing community awareness of and education in mental health and connecting young athletes to the mental health resources they may need.

“I was really passionate about just trying to raise awareness around the topic, making sure that people know they are not alone and that if they do need to speak out, they can do it in an environment where it is safe to do so,” said Mattila.

Recently, MindRight presented its inaugural Grant Sheridan Scholarship to Beaver Valley Nighthawks captain Angus Amadio. The annual $1,500 award is presented to a KIJHL player who has proven strong community involvement and exhibits academic excellence and leadership qualities.

Mattila, who has played for the Kelowna Chiefs for the past three years and last season served as captain, created the scholarship through MindRight in partnership with the KIJHL as a way to honour the Chiefs’ former president and general manager, who passed away last year after contracting bacterial meningitis.

Mattila attributes Sheridan with leaving a profound mark on his life and helping to grow the MindRight Society.

“When he passed away, I was quite devastated — he was the first individual that was very selfless on helping me grow the MindRight initiative,” said Mattila. “When I moved to Kelowna, I was searching for opportunities to play hockey and go to school, and I wanted to make sure that my mental health initiatives were still a priority for me, and that’s the first thing Grant mentioned with me. He was willing to share his expertise and help me out through this journey at no cost — he just wanted to do it to help me better myself and the community, and I think that really sums up Grant Sheridan. He was selfless.”

Looking forward, Mattila is focusing on completing his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a management specialty at the Okanagan College campus in Kelowna and hopes to pursue further education, eventually earning his MBA.

The recipients of the 2020 Community Award will be recognized in a formal presentation ceremony in Victoria, in the presence of B.C. Lieutenant-Governor Janet Austin. Each recipient will receive a certificate and a medallion designed by B.C. artist Robert Davidson. Due to COVID-19, the ceremony planned for the end of April has been postponed to a future date to be announced.

— with files from Lindsay Chung

READ MORE: Myles Mattila’s MindRight joins forces with HeadCheck Health



editor@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Community Leadership

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The RCMP arrest one of the suspects on Highway 97 courtesy of cell phone footage shot by a bystander. (April Thomas photo)
WATCH: Two suspects arrested after multi-jurisdictional chase

A half dozen police cars were seen heading north on Highway 97

An aerial photograph captures snowmobile tracks in the Cameron Ridge area earlier this year, which is closed to snowmobilers. The closures are in place to protect sensitive caribou herds. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Snowmobilers fined for operating in closed caribou habitat near Likely, B.C.

The investigation revealed they had spent several hours in the closure leaving extensive tracks

Quesnel Safeway manager Gloria Moskalyk and assistant manager Rose Staats hand nearly $11,000 in gift cards donated by customers over the holidays to Major Randy Gatza of the Salvation Army. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel Salvation Army gets boost from Safeway customers

Donations at the grocery store over the Christmas season totalled nearly 11K

A strong surplus in 2020 means smaller tax increases in 2021. (File Photo)
2020 surplus leads to smaller Quesnel tax increase

A planned tax increase of 4.7 per cent was reduced to 2.5 per cent

The area on Cordova Bay Road where ancestral human remains were discovered Feb. 22. (Submitted photo)
Human remains discovery a reminder of B.C. Indigenous culture dug up and displaced

‘These are the people who inspired and birthed the generations that we now have here’

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Most Read