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Building character through adversity

Brody Daigneau
Posted on 01/09/2019
Brody Daigneau

By Kylie Murracas

Brody Daigneau does not let cerebral palsy define him. If anything, he has a remarkable mindset about a challenge that has taught the young sledge hockey player how adversity builds character.

“At the end of the day, I just gotta accept it,” says the Grade 9 Cardinal Carter Catholic Secondary School student. “I’m not going to be able to change anything, so I just have to make

the best out of it.”

Daigneau is enrolled in the school’s Hockey Canada Skills Academy, however he’s no rookie when it comes to sledge hockey. He has been playing for eight years, starting at the age of six, and currently plays for the Windsor Ice Bullets.

“I saw it as a way to try and improve,” he responded when asked why he joined  the academy, “because of course, the goal is to make it far in this sport. I get on the ice three times a week, plus once a week with my team. So that’s four times a week.”

Daigneau added that he’s eager to continue learning and developing his hockey sense and he could not think of a better way to do exactly that, than by joining the hockey program.

“It’s interesting,” he said. “It’s hockey. It’s a sport but it’s a subject. You get up in the morning, go to the rink, get some cardio on the ice, work on some skills instead of being in a classroom. I’m actually hoping this semester slows down a little bit because I don’t want it to end.”

Daigneau’s enthusiasm for the program is evident when he is asked how it feels to participate in a hockey program within his school. He is an exceptional ambassador for the Hockey Canada Skills Experience, as he is a unique athlete who is faced with a challenge. He has a mild case of cerebral palsy that affects mostly his legs and the left side of his body. He explains it as “just a part of developing muscle memory.”

Not only does Daigneau spend his time training on the ice, he also volunteers to help coach the Bantam Minor Tecumseh Rangers Team, and says he has found a way to continue reaching personal goals through hockey.

Many are inspired by Daigneau, but when asked where or in who he finds inspiration, he is quick to reference sledge hockey Olympians Raymond Grassi, Ashley Goure and Corbin Watson, who happens to be a Cardinal Carter alumni student. He has had the opportunity to actually practice with them occasionally, and has taken this as an opportunity to learn from people who have succeeded while experiencing similar challenges.

Brody has played an important role in enhancing the hockey program at Cardinal Carter through his contributions as a sledge hockey player.

This is just a ‘snapshot’ introduction of this student athlete who continues to live by the words: “Challenges are what makes life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes them meaningful.”

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