The Thompson Junior Bison (JRB) basketball program is an all-girls basketball program that has been running for around 10 years. The program is based out of Winnipeg but was brought to Thompson thanks to the hard work of Kristin Donovan and Chris Pelchat. JRB is an out-of-school basketball club which teaches children from kindergarten to Grade 12.
In years past the program has completed a shoot-a-thon and raised thousands of dollars for other worthwhile charities such as Angel Hair, the Make a Wish Foundation and the Waponohk Community School breakfast program. The program believes in giving back to the community that has so generously helped us in the early years.
I am a school counsellor and have seen first-hand the huge impact mental health has on the youth in our community. I thought it would extremely impactful if the JRB group donated their money from the shoot-a-thon this year to the Hope North Suicide Prevention Committee. My fellow coaches Kristin Donovan, Chris Pelchat, Corey Murdy, J.J. Langan, Sandy Deibert, Sandi Timmons, Johnson Anand, Hannah Murdy and Shastri Permanand were all on board.
As young athletes living in Thompson, the JRB members have seen for themselves the importance of mental health awareness and having positive supports within our community. The athletes all believe they are very fortunate to have the JRB program, as it allows them to build new relationships and it is also a positive outlet.
For the past couple months, the JRB teams have been going into the community again to ask for sponsorship for another shoot-a-thon. Community members and different organizations donated money based off baskets made by each individual athlete. This event will go down as one of our most successful ones yet.
The JRB program was able to raise $4,200 for the Hope North Suicide Prevention Committee to help them with mental health initiatives in our community.
JRB would like to thank all of those in the community who donated. The JRB coaches would like to send a huge thank-you to all of the athletes who participated and made this event so successful.
Courtney McKay is a coach with the Junior Bison girls' basketball program in Thompson.