Paradis and Broncos team up to win SARC awards
The Swift Current Broncos had another reason to celebrate late last month as both the team and hockey operations staff member Nolan Paradis were singled out by receiving SARC Awards.
Paradis was presented with the SARC Great Work Award, while the Broncos earned the Inclusive Advantage Award at the Saskatchewan Association of Rehabilitation Centres (SARC) Awards Banquet on October 24.
This past hockey season, Paradis worked as a dressing room attendant and assistant trainer during the Broncos WHL Championship season. That experience fulfilled his dream of working in a sports related field.
Right after high school, Paradis met with Saskabilities Youth Employment Facilitator Erin Hilts to start down his employment road.
“He knew right away where he wanted to be, it was just the how that we needed to help him with,” Hilts said in a SARC video.
Paradis joined their youth employment program to develop his resume and work on his job skills. To add to his resume he started volunteering, helping out at Stars for Saskatchewan, The Meadows, and selling 50/50 tickets for the Swift Current 57s. He also achieved his certification in First AID/CPR, Serve It Right, and Food Safe.
After a summer working at the Chinook Golf Course in the restaurant and pro shop, Paradis easily stepped into his job with the Broncos. He became an integral part of the dressing room, helping set up practices, helping with laundry, and being an asset in the room by joking back and forth with the players and coaches.
“Seeing Nolan over the last few years grow and develop as a person has been a nice experience for me,” Kim Furey, Program Senior Supervisor, Saskabilities said in the SARC award video. “I see him be more confident, more community focused. And also I see him gaining more independence. For example he started using the city transit system, and would call and book his own bus. So having those skills really helped to open up his community to him.”
Paradis was saluted, along with the Broncos, at the November 5 Swift Current City Council meeting.
“Every team’s looking for that key advantage, that one little thing that pushes them over the top. I think that you were a key part to helping the club achieve the championship this year, and I really think that you can be really proud of that and keep that with you all of your life,” Councillor George Bowditch told Paradis at the meeting.
“It makes us all very proud and it’s very heart warming to have this happen and to see this great example of inclusiveness in the community,” Councillor Pat Friesen added.
SARC noted the Inclusive Advantage Award was presented to the Swift Current Broncos in recognition of
“a workplace that realizes the benefits of hiring a person experiencing disability and highlights their commitment to inclusive employment.”
“The Broncos are merely mirroring the community expectations and standards of inclusion, of involvement of people of all abilities,” said Kimi Duzan, Regional Director of Saskabilities Swift Current. “So I think the Broncos don’t necessarily see themselves as a leader. They see themselves as an employer who hired a person with talents and abilities that can bring something to the team.”
The Broncos were represented at the November 5 City Council meeting by Jamie “Butter” Leblanc, Head Athletic Trainer and Equipment Manager and former Director of Business Operations Dianne Sletten.
“It takes real leadership to help all people find their place. So I want to say a big thank you of course to administration, and Butter and to the board who made that conscious choice to make something very special for a member of our community. I know we have a lot more work to do, and through Kimi and through her team, and through I think the entire community, we can help all people within Swift Current find their home,” Mayor Denis Perrault said at the meeting.
Nolan Paradis, dressing room attendant and assistant trainer, raised the WHL Championship Trophy with the assistance of Colby Sissons and Associate Coach Ryan Smith on May 13.