Cal­gary par­ents will need to take good be­hav­iour course every four years

Truro Daily News - - SPORTS -

Mi­nor hockey par­ents in Cal­gary will soon have to take a re­fresher every four years of an on­line course de­signed to limit bad be­hav­iour at the rink.

Hockey Cal­gary was the first mi­nor sports or­ga­ni­za­tion in Canada to in­tro­duce the manda­tory Re­spect in Sport course for hockey par­ents and coaches in 2010. It re­quires at least one par­ent from each hockey house­hold to ob­tain course cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Sev­eral other mi­nor hockey as­so­ci­a­tions across the coun­try have fol­lowed Cal­gary’s lead.

As of May 1, Cal­gary hockey par­ents will re­quire re­cer­ti­fi­ca­tion every four years.

“This is about polishing the good ap­ples in the bas­ket,” for­mer NHL player Shel­don Kenney, a co-founder of Re­spect Group, said Thurs­day. “This is about mak­ing good par­ents bet­ter.”

Kevin Ko­belka, Hockey Cal­gary’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, said the course not only pre­pares par­ents to stand up to oth­ers who are mis­be­hav­ing, but also pro­vides in­for­ma­tion on con­cus­sions and long-term hockey devel­op­ment.

“It has evolved to be much more than just a pro­gram about in­flu­enc­ing be­hav­iour within the arena,” Ko­belka said. “This pro­gram was never de­signed to be one and done, and we be­lieve our role as lead­ers in hockey is to ed­u­cate our mem­bers and pro­mote pos­i­tive be­hav­iours in the hockey en­vi­ron­ment.”

A three-year study of the pro­gram re­leased in 2014 found an over­whelm­ing suc­cess rate in pre­par­ing par­ents.

“Study par­tic­i­pants stated they had the con­fi­dence to speak up if they wit­nessed mal­treat­ment,” said Julie Booke, an as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor at Mount Royal Univer­sity. “The par­ents had more knowl­edge where to bring their con­cerns to and they were more likely to speak up if they wit­nessed mal­treat­ment.”

Booke said only eight per cent of 1,000 par­ents in­ter­viewed said the pro­gram should never have been im­ple­mented.

Kennedy, who was the first per­son to de­tail his sex­ual abuse at the hands of his ju­nior hockey coach Graham James, is the lead di­rec­tor of the Shel­don Kennedy Child Ad­vo­cacy Cen­tre.

He said 300,000 hockey par­ents across Canada have taken the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion course and it ap­pears to be work­ing.

“Here in Cal­gary the first year they went from three dis­ci­plinary hear­ings a week down to three a month,” Kennedy said.

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