From: Bob Goulais <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Monday, October 5, 2015 at 5:19 PM
To: OFSAA Executive Council
Cc: OFSAA Football Advisor; OFSAA Transfer Advisor
Subject: Appeal of Mr. Drake Morin, North Bay, ON
Dear OFSAA Executive Council:
I am writing to express my support to Drake Morin, a Grade 11 student of St. Joseph-Scollard Hall in North Bay, Ontario. He and his family are appealing a ruling that makes him ineligible to play senior football in the Nipissing District Association (NDA) this school year.
Having been raised in a small First Nation community in northern Ontario, I know and appreciate the challenges faced by students in the north and in rural areas. There isn’t always the same opportunities and programs afforded students in more prosperous areas of Ontario. Our students are faced with difficult choices and sacrifices. Sadly, this often limits their potential.
In this case, Drake has made a choice to change schools that meets his academic need while also allowing him to pursue opportunities in school sports, to become a better football player and student athlete. His former school, Chippewa Secondary School, did not offer a comparable academic program nor did it have a senior football program.
This rule, that prevents students from playing following a school transfer, may be appropriate in larger centres where nearly every school has diverse academic and athletic programs. Such transfers may very well create issues of competitiveness. But in northern and rural Ontario, such a rule is unfair and punitive given that there are really few, if any, alternative choices for a student to pursue their goals academically and athletically.
Further, this issue has created a growing movement across our region, as parents and the general public are showing enthusiastic support for such a dedicated student athlete. Drake Morin is an knowledgable volunteer coach and mentor to many in our local youth football program. Over the years, my sons Griffin and Miigwans have learned much from their camaraderie as teammates with Drake. In my estimation, Drake exemplifies the kind of student athlete that OFSAA was established to develop and support.
I offer my support and encourage OFSAA executive council members to allow the appeal for Drake to play senior football this season. Further, I recommend that this rule be evaluated to take into account circumstances such as these that may unfairly exclude students from First Nations, rural and northern Ontario.
170 Gerald Crescent
Nipissing First Nation
Garden Village, Ontario P2B3J8