Hockey Edmonton is working on a plan to address hockey culture locally

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A new hockey season is just around the corner and for Hockey Edmonton it’s also a new beginning.

“And this one is unlike any other,” said Kylee Quinn, Hockey Edmonton’s marketing and communications manager.

While Hockey Canada remains under fire for its handling of sexual assault allegations by former players, locally there is a promise of accountability and transparency.

“The silence is a big reason why we, as an entire nation, are here in the first place,” Quinn said.

“Hockey Edmonton recognizes that in the culture of hockey as a whole, mistakes have been made and to change we need to address the uncomfortable issues.”

The organization is following the guidelines of Hockey Alberta, but Quinn said she has yet to receive any communication regarding the action plan released by Hockey Canada on July 22.

“While we await guidance from both governing bodies, we have reached out to experts for consultation to help implement change locally,” Quinn said.

She said Hockey Edmonton reached out to academics and organizations like Edmonton’s Sexual Assault Center to help create its own local plan.

“Because we strongly believe that everyone involved in sport should have the tools to identify what is harmful behavior, have a way to challenge harmful beliefs and actions, and also have the skills to intervene and prevent harm. abuse.” Quinn said.

Tim Skuce played hockey, now he’s studying game culture as a professor at Brandon University.

He told CTV News Edmonton that change is something everyone needs to be involved in.

“As a parent and as a community as a whole, I hope we can engage our young boys in these conversations about what it might be like to behave in a way that you find admirable, the character that you want. cultivate in our children,” says Skuce.

He said that for many players, this hockey culture and behaviors are “deeply situated” and unlearning them will take time.

“I think the language we use, the behaviors we engage in, our conduct on the ice, these are all behaviors learned and practiced over decades,” Skuce said.

“I hope there’s a certain amount of patience and intention, an intentionality that really starts to say who have we become because of our participation in the game of hockey?”

Still, Skuce is cautiously optimistic that change can and will be achieved.

Hockey Edmonton doesn’t know how long it will take for its plan to be ready for action.

“It’s not something we want to rush. It’s obviously a very sensitive topic, one that really deserves expert consultation,” Quinn said.

“While personally, as an organization, we may have ideas about the best way forward, we certainly want to rely on experts from related industries to really help guide the next best steps.”


With files from CTV Edmonton’s Joe Scarpelli

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