Former Big Brother Canada Contestant Comes "Full Circle" as the CSFS Hockey Tournament Gets Underway

Former Big Brother Canada Contestant Comes "Full Circle" as the CSFS Hockey Tournament Gets Underway

February 27, 2020

By Jordan Cryderman


Playing sports has many benefits for your body, but there are also a number of ways sports can help with overall wellness. Carrier Sekani Family Services is hosting the 2020 CSFS Winter Wellness Hockey Tournament in Fraser Lake this year, with an emphasis on men’s health awareness, but also as a unique platform to hose a health fair for the community.


There have been numerous studies that observe the connection between sport participation and positive mental health. One such study concluded that although sport participation may not actually prevent mental health problems, there is a connection between sport participation and social belonging, which is proven to prevent poor mental health (Jewett et al., 2014, 2). 


Other studies have shown that people who exercise more regularly are less prone to developing depression, anxiety, anger, and stress, as well as increasing mental resiliency (Oddie et al., 2014).


The CSFS Winter Wellness Hockey Tournament is aimed at encouraging positive mental health for men and raising awareness for the importance of exercise. And it’s also about fun. However, it’s important to recognize where stresses and mental strain can occur – which can even come from playing hockey.


Hockey goaltenders are under their own spotlight, one that can be full of praise and glory when a goalie is on top of their game. On the other hand, that spotlight can be lonely and scrutinizing if a bad goal is let in or the team loses the game.


Famous goaltender Ken Dryden said that “a goalie is more introverted than his teammates, more serious…more sensitive and moody, more insecure” (Cameron, et al., p. 110). 


Damien Ketlo from the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation is all too familiar with the hardships of the position. But Kelto also knows of the mental benefits of playing a team sport.


“Imagine having a consistent mental and physical outlet almost every day. Go to the rink with all the boys, let off some steam, and call it a day. Anytime there was stress in my life, I got to go to the rink.”


Damien Ketlo



Ketlo played in the WHL after being drafted by the Regina Pats. Later in his career, he played university hockey at the University of Lethbridge before playing overseas for the Sydney Ice Dogs in Australia’s top ice hockey league. 


Being away from home for such a large part of his life, Kelto says that even being homesick helped his mental well-being. 


“Being away from home for more than 10 years was definitely hard in regards to my mental health but it was also beneficial. There were times when I felt low, times when I was missing home but I got through it because hockey, even though it was ironic that hockey took me away from home. This in turn gave me a discipline of the mind to get through things when they were tough and to see goals through.”


After all said and done, Ketlo is thankful for the healthy lifestyle and reputation he was able to take away from his hockey career.


“It created opportunity for not only myself but as well as being a role model for Indigenous youth. It gave me a healthy lifestyle that could only be attained from this experience in general.”


Looking ahead to the CSFS Winter Wellness Hockey Tournament, Ketlo says he couldn’t be happier to be coming full circle and revisiting his roots.


“It's everything coming full circle. I moved away at 15. You go from playing hockey with the locals, your family, and friends and all of a sudden you are across Canada playing with and against strangers. You miss the days of going to the outdoor rink with your cousins and playing hockey just for the love of the game and for hours at a time. This tourney brings that back, even though everyone is older it's still the locals, family, and friends. It reminds you of the good old days when things were a little more simple and there weren't the huge expectations of having to perform on a professional level to keep your job. And it's for fun!”


Since his hockey career, Ketlo has also starred in Big Brother Season 7, and is currently part of the Kedah Clan musical group, and a motivational speaker. 




With this year’s Winter Wellness Hockey Tournament, CSFS will be raising awareness for men’s wellness. There will also be a health fair on during the tournament on the second floor of the arena in Fraser Lake, as well as health screenings for Hepatitis C, and lung function. However, the tournament is also an opportunity to be a part of a team, and part of a community, all in the spirit for men’s wellness.



Sources Used:

Cameron, J. E., Cameron, J. M., Dithurbide, L., & Lalonde, R. N. (2012). Personality traits and stereotypes associated with ice hockey positions. Journal of Sport Behavior, 35(2), 109-124.


Jewett, R., Sabiston, C. M., Brunet, J., O'Loughlin, E. K., Scarapicchia, T., & O'Loughlin, J. (2014). School sport participation during adolescence and mental health in early adulthood. Journal of adolescent health, 55(5), 640-644.


Oddie, S., Fredeen, D., Williamson, B., DeClerck, D., Doe, S., & Moslenko, K. (2014). Can Physical Activity Improve Depression, Coping & Motivation to Exercise in Children and Youth Experiencing Challenges to Mental Wellness?. Psychology, 5(19), 2147.



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Last modified: Friday 12-Jun-20 15:43:45 PDT