On this past week's edition of SJHL Weekly, the league and their partner Canterra Seeds announced a new opportunity to connect players from the ice to the farm. The "Golden Sheaf Program" will connect a players hockey, and on-farm experience, to share a truly Saskatchewan story and advertise the great homegrown talent the province has to offer.
This unique program presented through the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League aims to, "shine a spotlight on how growing up on a farm can be instrumental in giving developing hockey players the foundation they need to be successful in the league and beyond".
“Just look at one of the many Saskatchewan players that have made it to the NHL over the years and more often than not they have a background in agriculture,” says Kyle McIntyre, SJHL Commissioner. “It’s not hard to find that connection, but until the launch of this program with Canterra Seeds is not something that has gotten much attention,” he says.
One might wonder what farming and hockey have to do with one-another, but Canterra Seeds President and CEO Brent Derkatch knows first-hand the work-ethic learned on the farm can carry into many different avenues of life.
“Ask any hockey coach what sets the top players apart from the rest of the pack and you can bet ‘work ethic’ will be the number one answer,” says Derkatch. “Ask any farm kid what they learned growing up on the farm was and you can bet ‘work ethic’ will be the number one answer.”
The SJHL just partnered with Canterra Seeds last year. The hoisting of the Canterra Seeds Cup was just the start, as the Golden Sheaf Program represents the next step of the two sides relationship.
“The Golden Sheaf program is a great opportunity for us to help the league share its stories and demonstrate how they are weaved into the deep tradition of agriculture in Saskatchewan.” commented says Derkatch in the release.
The ever-so-Saskatchewan program falls directly in line with the goals of the SJHL commissioner. One of McIntyre's main goals as commissioner was to ensure Saskatchewan-born players are afforded every opportunity possible to keep playing in their home province.
McIntyre believes the new program will be a great way to show young players eyeing the SJHL, that things are very promising in the heart of the prairies.
“Through the Golden Sheaf program, we aim to show young players that are working toward the next step in their development how others before them have been able to play here, stay here,”