BC Hockey, in partnership with the Vancouver Canucks, are excited to announce the launch of a new educational program called Sportsmanship Starts in the Stands.
Sportsmanship Starts in the Stands was developed to address the behaviours and attitudes that have become a negative influence in the game of hockey in BC. The intent of the program is to ensure that the environment at BC Hockey events and initiatives is positive for everyone. It was also developed to ensure the level of parent expectations was consistent across the province.
“This is the first program of its kind among the Hockey Canada branches, and we couldn’t be more excited to start this initiative,” said BC Hockey president Randy Henderson in a statement. “Children learn behaviours from adults, so it’s important to instill positivity whenever and wherever possible.”
Minor Hockey Associations (MHA) will be given a presentation that can easily be delivered during parent meetings, and a Code of Conduct contract that can be completed by parents in person, on tablet or smart phone and sent directly to the MHA. The presentation’s video and Code of Conduct are endorsed by and feature messages from Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden.
The BC Hockey executive committee recently passed a policy that will now require all MHA’s to host a parent meeting prior to Oct. 15/15 annually. Such a meeting shall cover a minimum of the following:
· Review of key MHA Policies and Procedures (Locker Room Policy, Team Selection, Ice Times, etc.)
· Review of MHA Complaint/Process Policy
· Code of Conduct expectations
Associations will be required to file a report summary of such a meeting before Nov. 1 annually. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in the cancellation of BC Hockey sanctioning of events hosted or operated by the MHA.
“This is an exciting initiative for our membership,” commented Barry Petrachenko, BC Hockey executive director. “Sport provides our participants with the opportunity to interact and develop valuable life skills, and this program will serve to enhance the spirit of mutual respect and the principals of good sportsmanship for all who are involved in our game.”
“Hockey should be fun for kids and the atmosphere our parents create in the rink has a huge impact on everyone’s experience and happiness,” said Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden. “The Vancouver Canucks are a huge supporter of grassroots hockey development and very proud to support the Sportsmanship Starts in the Stands program.”
“The BC Hockey Safety/Risk Management Committee worked to develop the positive approach to this program by working with great resources from the Officiating Program and the Recreation Facilities Association of British Columbia,” commented BC Hockey Branch Coordinator, Safety Risk Management, Anne Deitch.
All program materials will be released during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in June 2015.