May 22, 2018 - 4:00pm
Criminology student Joshua Cook invited to Great Britain try-outs
Sports are not just about the games we play. It’s about the meaningful friendships we build along the way, how we learn to handle defeat and victory, and how we grow as individuals.
This has certainly been true for Joshua Cook, Right Winger for the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners men’s hockey team, who has been invited to try out for Great Britain’s national men’s ice hockey team in the fall.
“It has been a huge part of my life. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without hockey,” he says.
Cook discovered his love for the game at five years old. Six years later, Cook moved from his home in England to Kelowna, BC, to further pursue his hockey aspirations. His skills and passion for the sport continued to develop while playing junior hockey.
“I was fortunate to have a lot of positive mentors, but to be honest, there wasn’t enough compassion in hockey and people willing to help. It can be a cutthroat sport, but it doesn’t have to be,” he says.
Inspired to make a positive change, Cook created the non-profit organization Consistency Coaching, an association aimed at supporting young athletes through their sport while teaching them the core values of the organization – integrity, compassion, accountability and resilience.
“The reason I started this organization was to change the stigma of the typical hockey player. Most athletes won’t go on to play professionally, but the values you practice will carry on with you in all aspects of your life. I don’t just want to motivate athletes to become a better player on the ice, but improve themselves as a person,” says Cook.
VIU Mariners men’s hockey team Assistant Coach Donovan Tait also sits on the board of directors of Consistency Coaching.
“Josh is a mature and motivated young athlete who gives much of himself to help others,” says Tait.
Last season, Cook traded in his junior hockey career to play in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL). He began studying Criminology at VIU in pursuit of becoming a police officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
One of the top six forwards for the VIU Mariners men’s hockey team this inaugural season, Cook helped lead the team to their third place finish. He ended the season as the selected “Rookie of the Month” in February with 10 goals and 10 assists in 27 games.
In 2013, Cook led the Great Britain U20 team as their assistant captain during the international tournament in Lithuania. Now he will have the opportunity to try out to represent Great Britain on the ice again.
Great Britain men’s national ice hockey team has extended an invitation to Cook to try out for the team and compete in the Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, in March 2019.
“Last year I had just moved to Nanaimo, and I had no idea what to expect coming to play for the VIU Mariners,” says Cook. “I have the VIU jersey on right now, and I would never wear another university’s jersey. I have so much pride for VIU, and I cannot wait to represent our university and Nanaimo through this opportunity. I’m going to put VIU on the map in terms of college hockey.”
Evaluations will be held this September in Sheffield, England.
Written with supporting material from Richard Leadbrick, Freelance Journalist.
Rae-Anne LaPlante, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University