‘He never gave up on himself’

Cloverdale's Brad Goodchild receiving Past Commissioners award for off-field contributions

Langley Rams’ Brad Goodchild will be presented the Canadian Junior Football League’s Past Commissioners Award at the league’s awards banquet tomorrow in Regina.

Wins and losses are important, but so is giving back to the community and helping others, and one member of the Langley Rams junior football team has been honoured for his efforts.

Brad Goodchild, an offensive lineman for the Rams, was presented with the Ron White Community Service Award last month at halftime of his team’s loss to the Vancouver Island Raiders in the Cullen Cup, the B.C. Football Conference’s championship game.

He has also earned the Canadian Junior Football League’s Past Commissioners Award, which will be presented tomorrow (Friday) in Regina at the CJFL Banquet of Champions.

The award is for football players who are recognized by their coaches and peers as leaders on and off the field and who give unselfishly to their community.

The 21-year-old Goodchild was selected for the award and nomination for everything he overcame over the past eight years.

In a 2011 story in the Langley Times, Goodchild shared just how much he had overcome. And based on that story, he was selected the winner of the Ron White Award.

The story detailed how at age 13, Goodchild was taking care of his younger brother Jake, registering him for school and dropping him off and picking him up. With his father not a part of their lives and his drug addict mother going missing for weeks at a time, the boys were evicted from their Surrey rental home.

Goodchild and his brother showed up at their grandparents’ home and were taken in. Until that point, the grandparents did not know the extent of their daughters’ addiction problems.

Despite all this adversity, Goodchild thrived in the classroom, skipping Grade 8 and graduating from Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary in 2010 with a 95 per cent grade point average. He also earned a scholarship from the Cmolik Foundation, a B.C. based charitable foundation which awards scholarships to financially-challenged students who have overcome a significant barrier or disadvantage in their life.

Goodchild is in the his fourth year at Simon Fraser University, where he is studying psychology with the hopes of becoming a youth counselor.

He is also mentoring a pair of young men at his former high school.

“It gives us the opportunity to recognize very special young men who are committed to the game and to their team as well as to their family, friends, the community and to the world,” said Ron White, the man whom the award is named after and who selects the winner.

White is a member of the B.C. Football Hall of Fame and is a lifetime member of both the BCFC and the CJFL and will present Goodchild the Past Commissioners Award.

“In this very special situation, we have a young man who never lost his faith under unbelievable circumstances,”  White said.

“He succeeded when it would have been easy to fail (and) he never gave up on himself.

“He now shares these life experiences mentoring students as his contribution to the community.”

Goodchild has also recently come in contact with his mother, Jaeson Goodchild.

Next month will mark two years clean for her and she contacted him and his brother in the past few months.

“That was part of her making amends as part of the 12-step program,” he said.

And while Goodchild says he has moved on from growing up without his mother, he would still like her to be a part of their lives, especially for his younger brother’s sake.

“I have done quite a bit of growing up without her,” Goodchild said.

“(But) I was really more interested in her being healthy and being available for Jake. I don’t really need a mother in the same way that Jake does.”

Goodchild wants his 13-year-old sibling to experience the mother he remembers before the addiction took over.

“She was a great mom back when I was really young,” he said. “She used to come to all the field trips at school and used to work and took care of us and it was awesome.

“It just kind of fell apart and I would just like her to be the same kind of person for Jake.”

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