Brothers Dwight and Dwayne (DJ) King, who played professional hockey in the NHL, made a special visit to students at Chief Payepot School in Piapot First Nation to talk about their experiences in finding success.
Dwight played eight years in the NHL on the rosters of the Montreal Canadiens and the L.A. Kings, who won the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014.
DJ played with the St. Louis Blues and the Washington Capitals for nine years.
The King brothers, who are Métis, grew up 10 minutes outside Flying Dust First Nation in northern Saskatchewan. They now travel to different communities to engage with the youth, talk about their careers in the NHL and how they achieved their success.
“It’s a good thing to give back and show that there’s a path through sports to be successful,” Dwight said. “I think goals are important and obviously educating yourself is important… There are steps along the way that you have to make to get to your end goal. I think it’s the biggest thing we like to relay to the kids.”
The keys pillars of success for the King brothers when they were growing up were having a support system, caring for their mental and physical health, and using sports to help them through times of adversity.
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“Moving away from home… especially a First Nations kid coming from a reserve background, it’s a big step,” Dwight said. “Having that support system in place and realizing when the tough time comes, you can lean on people to help you keep moving forward.”
To succeed in life, DJ said it’s important to keep things simple and show respect. “We’ve got to play in the NHL and we can use this platform to reach out to kids,” he said. “We want everyone to succeed in life and… we can all do with the right foundation.”
Grade 12 student Desmond Crowe was excited to hear the King brothers’ presentation.
“It is inspiring. It inspires me,” he said. “It’s like they could do it. We could do it.”
Piapot band member and File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Chief Jeremy Fourhorns said events like this are important to have in communities like his.
“When we have somebody that comes in to speak to kids, as well as the rest of us, it’s always good for us to listen to all those challenges that they experienced,” he said.
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