Although we could not gather in person this year or last year for the Community and Police Awards Gala, we would still like to formally recognize members of our Service and of the Public who have had a direct impact on community safety and well-being in Greater Sudbury.

The Constable Joseph MacDonald Memorial Award is presented to a Police Service member who has demonstrated outstanding service to youth through official duty and community involvement.

Craig Maki, Manager of our 911 Emergency Communications Centre, has spent most of his adult life coaching minor hockey at the Junior “A” and U Sports level. man smiling and holding award

Amateur sports could not exist without volunteer coaches. While a great many participate as a parental duty and last for a few seasons, a small number do so for the love of the game and a strong commitment to developing our youth.

Craig Maki is one of those coaches who recognize that not only do organized team sports have obvious benefits for youth in terms of physical fitness and coordination, but also in developing teamwork, responsibility and the exposure to positive adult role models.

From as far back as 1998-99 when he was an assistant coach to the Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats, to today as the coach of the Sudbury Wolves Major Pee Wee AAA team; Craig has spent countless hours not only teaching youth the essentials of the game but also reinforcing the qualities needed to succeed in life.

During hockey season, Craig gives up four or five of his evenings a week between practices and games. He travels out of town with the team, making sure the youth have the necessary equipment and are ready to hit the ice.

For many years, Craig also provided support to the players of the Sudbury Wolves, presenting lectures to them on the perils of drugs, alcohol, gaming, hazing, social media and other issues that may impact players away from the rink while playing in the OHL. In 2014, the relationship was formalized and he became the liaison officer between the Wolves and the Greater Sudbury Police Service. As part of his role, Craig was responsible for liaising with the Canadian Mental Health Association in collaboration with the Sudbury Manitoulin Branch of the CMHA and the TALK TODAY program.

Craig was also fundamental to the Wolves PaWES program. Through the PaWES program, GSPS Officers team up with Players from the Sudbury Wolves and together they attend various community events where they educate youth on topics including Leadership, Pride and Teamwork.

In 2016, he served as president of the Sudbury Minor Hockey League and was able to announce that the city would be hosting the 2018 Telus Cup. The TELUS Cup is Canada’s National Midget Championship and the pinnacle of the minor hockey system in Canada. Although no longer the president, when the tournament came to Sudbury, Craig took his holidays and acted as play-by-play announcer.

Craig’s outstanding leadership on and off of the ice has had a profound impact on the lives of hundreds of youths in our community and beyond. His dedication and commitment to amateur sports demonstrates an outstanding service to youth and is a testament to the inspirational and motivational leader that he is.

Congratulations to Craig Maki – recipient of the 2020 Constable Joseph MacDonald Memorial Award.