BC Hockey and the Vancouver Canucks have just launched a new educational program to encourage positive behaviour by parents in the ice rink, called Sportmanship Starts in the Stands. It was started to address the behaviours and attitudes that have become a negative influence of hockey in British Columbia, and is designed to ensure that the environment at BC Hockey events is positive and fun. It was also developed to create a consistent level for parent expectations at events 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. “Children learn behaviours from adults, so it’s important to instill positivity whenever and wherever possible.”
“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 Trevor Linden, Vancouver Canucks President of Hockey Operations. “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.
The program is simple and easy to implement. MHA (Minor Hockey Associations) will be given a presentation to deliver during parent meetings, and a Code of Conduct to be completed by parents and sent back to the MHA. Both the presentation and the Code of Conduct contain messages from 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 October 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 November 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.
All program materials will be released during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in June 2015.