Just a few days after being named captain of the Sudbury Wolves, McFadden’s Movement proudly welcomed Kyle Rhodes as a MM27 Ambassador in January 2018.
Rhodes, a former teammate of Garrett McFadden for three seasons with the Guelph Storm, shared the importance of talking about mental health as both an athlete, and in life.
The Powhatan, Virginia native talked about the common expectation for athletes to be tough, and just how important support systems are.
Since joining the Movement, Rhodes has graduated from the Ontario Hockey League, put his first year of professional hockey with the ECHL’s Tulsa Oilers in the books, and is looking ahead to continuing his career with the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones. With that, however, came a year that truly redefined mental health for the former OHL defenseman.
“Being a MM27 Ambassador gives me the chance to connect with those going through the same mental struggles that I have experienced and allows me to be a voice in the right direction for them,” Rhodes, who faced a career-threatening neck injury through the 2018-19 season, said. “As an athlete, I experience the endless loop of the highest highs and the lowest lows in every aspect of life. Having an understanding and awareness of mental health through healthy ways has allowed me to cope and make peace with the physical and emotional trauma that exists within the lifestyle.”
“I’m happy to be a part of MM27 and joining them in taking the leap towards ridding the stigma around mental health.”
No stranger to some of the biggest challenges athletes face, Rhodes’ career has included injuries that have sidelined the blueliner for a few weeks to the latter half of a season, a trade from Guelph to Sudbury in the summer prior to his overage season, and more. All of which, though, has been parallel in seeing Rhodes recognized for his leadership on and off the ice as first, the recipient of the Storm’s Leadership Award in 2017, to later being named captain of the Wolves the following season.
“Kyle has played a huge part in why McFadden’s Movement began, as supportive and enthusiastic as he was to help out in anyway,” McFadden said. “As a guy known for being the first one at the rink and the last one to leave, he also represents that as an Ambassador, teammate, friend, and role model. While personally experiencing ups and downs, he’s used his story to educate and help others in their own paths.”
“He is a great example of perseverance and dedication.”
“All the treasures you think you’ll find, only lie inside your mind.”A motto offered by Rhodes
Follow MM27 Ambassador, Kyle Rhodes, on Twitter.