Mitchell Hardy representing the OHF succeeds in stripes
Date: Jul, 15, 2022 10:00 AM EDT
It was back in 2010 when Mitchell Hardy first picked up the whistle.
Were it not for Fernando Nogueria, a supervisor at Kitchener Minor Hockey encouraging him to tryout, he may have never entertained the idea of officiating. Looking back, Mitchell is more than glad he did.
“Officiating has granted me many opportunities and allowed me to achieve some of my proudest achievements,” said Hardy in his application letter.
Since 2010, Mitchell has officiated at a variety of levels including Minor, Junior and some Senior and is expected to move up to Referee status from previously being a Linesman in the OHA next season. He has also experienced the NHL’s Exposure Combine in 2017 and the recent OHL Officials Combine in 2022.
All along the way, Mitchell has maintained an officiating career alongside his studies including his time at Laurier where he took Criminology and Law and now, where he is a full-time student at Conestoga College in Civil Engineering. This is where the Hockey Canada Kenneth R. Stiles Memorial Scholarship has helped to alleviate his packed schedule.
“I was super excited [to get the bursary] especially being a mature student. I live on my own and my bills can add up, so getting any sort of financial aid is really helpful”, said Hardy
“This is really one of the first bursaries I’ve gotten outside of academic scholarships that are distributed through the school, so it was really cool and it’s a weight off my shoulders to cover almost all my tuition for the year.”
The Kenneth R. Stiles Memorial Scholarship was established by the Seaman Hotchkiss Hockey Foundation (formerly Project 75) and Hockey Canada in recognition of Ken Stiles and his tremendous contribution to grassroots hockey in Canada. It recognizes applicants on the basis of academic achievement, officiating achievement and community involvement. In Mitchell’s case, applying for the scholarship was a no-brainer opportunity, but he didn’t get his hopes up knowing the competition for bursaries such as this are normally high.
“The e-mail came through from my local association and it sounded like a great opportunity. I had known people who had applied previously and I never went through the process myself. And honestly - I didn’t expect to get it!,” said Hardy
“However, I was absolutely thrilled to receive it. My nomination was supported by Rick Morphew as well, which I think goes a long way in the OHF. It was a big confidence booster for me”