Immediate Media Release
September 26, 2022
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL- Over the last eighteen months, Hockey NL has been working on a program to educate their coaches on team sexual violence prevention. This initiative began in partnership with Amy Graham and Patricia Tracey, while both were student athletes at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS. Their “Team SVP” program was used to educate university students on the realities of sexual violence amongst athletes and students while being aimed at reducing the prevalence amongst the student population.
Hockey NL has finalized a partnership with Graham for the delivery of a pilot project for the upcoming 2022-2023 hockey season. The program consists of an online module approximately one (1) hour in duration and containing both video and text portions. The participant is required to answer questions during the program related to the content that has been delivered and will be issued a certificate of completion.
Graham believes the goal of the program is to provide leaders with the knowledge and resources to educate their athletes on safety and prevention with respect to sexualized violence. “Minor sport is an environment that allows young individuals to develop an abundance of skills and assets that are applicable in many facets of life. It is more challenging to learn when one does not feel safe, therefore, providing a safe environment is imperative. A recently released paper indicates that between 2% to 8% of athletes are victims of sexual abuse in sport. Despite the growing number of reported cases of sexual violence in minor sports, there is currently no mandatory training available on this topic for individuals in leadership positions within minor sport. Sexual violence can be a daunting and difficult conversation to initiate”, said Graham.
Dr. Jared Butler is the interim President of Hockey NL and is excited to be leaders in the nation to begin this important conversation. “Hockey NL has made a commitment to cover the cost of the program this year and have made it mandatory for all coaching staff in the U15 and U18 AAA open and female programs as well as all of the Junior teams in the province”. Hockey NL encourages coaching staff in lower categories of U15 and U18 to participate in the pilot program as well.
Butler said this is just the beginning of our commitment to this area. “We want to bring awareness to this important topic in our game and begin to educate and resource our respected coaches so they can begin the appropriate conversations with their players as they develop through our game”, remarked Butler. Hockey NL is expected to complete an evaluation of the program at the end of the season with potential expansion in the future.
About Hockey NL
Is the governing body for hockey in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and its mission is to Foster a Safe, Fun and Inclusive Hockey Experience. They provide programs and services to over thirteen thousand (13,000) players, coaches, officials, volunteers and have over one hundred and twenty (120) member associations, leagues and teams across the province for both youth and adults.
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