Campus Life  

The perfect play: education a game-winning tactic

Okanagan College Media Release

With a promising hockey career on the horizon,18-year-old Myles Mattila is laying the groundwork for a bright future—combining his passion for competitive hockey with a solid business education at Okanagan College.Myles Mattila Sept 2017

The right-winger joined the Kelowna Chiefs this season after making his mark with the Okanagan Rockets and Cariboo Cougars. He is just one of approximately 2,380 new students who began classes at one of Okanagan College’s four campuses last week.

“My goal definitely is to play hockey at the highest level possible,” says Mattila. “I can excel in hockey, but why not also with a degree in hand? You never know if an injury or other circumstances could sideline me.”

Finding a program that would not make him choose between hockey or education was key.

“With team practice mid-day I needed something that afforded me the scheduling flexibility to still play competitively,” explains the former Quesnel resident, who recently returned to Kelowna. “That’s why I chose Okanagan College; I was able to build my timetable with morning and evening classes.”

Mattila is confident that the community focus at Okanagan College will also enable him to pursue his other passion: championing mental health awareness. He’s already received wide-spread recognition for his efforts. In June he was bestowed the BC Hockey President’s Award for his dedication to the cause as the founder of MindRight.info, a website designed to educate the Cariboo Cougars hockey community about mental health. He even received a Twitter nod from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his efforts.

“The business program at the College has a reputation for community involvement and enabling students to give back,” says Mattila. “I’m confident that pursuing the management specialty will help me make connections to advance mental health awareness.”

Relatively new to Kelowna, Mattila has already been asked to represent the city at the International Conference on Youth Mental Health. He will travel to Dublin, Ireland in two weeks where he will collaborate with young leaders from around the world who are committed to creating positive changes in youth mental health.

As for long-term goals, even if a professional hockey career pans out: “I’d love to become a lawyer one day, but one thing at a time,” he says. “For now, I’ll just enjoy my first weeks as a college student.”


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