Hockey Calgary has announced that parents will need to re-certify under the Respect in Sport parent program every four years starting this May. In 2010, the minor hockey organization made it mandatory for parents to take the one-hour online course, which emphasizes positive behaviour for parents and provides guidance on how to nurture young athletes.
“Hockey Calgary believes in continuing education,” said executive director Kevin Kobelka. “This program was never designed to be one-and-done. We believe part of our role as leaders in hockey is to continually educate our members, and promote positive behaviours in the hockey environment.”
A new version of the Respect in Sport program was launched in 2017, which features a number of new focuses including dealing with cyber-bullying, concussion management, and long-term athlete development.
“It is developed to be much more than just a program about influencing behaviour in the arena,” Kobelka said. “It speaks to many social issues our young athletes are faced with on a day-to-day basis.”
Aside from the program being updated, recent research has indicated that Hockey Calgary parents are in favour of some element of re-certification.
“Combined, 70 per cent of those that participated and completed the survey felt the program should be offered more than once and on an ongoing basis,” said Julie Booke, an associate professor from Mount Royal University who researched the effectiveness of the program in 2014.
Parents who completed the Respect in Sport program prior to 2014 will need to be re-certified in order to register their child starting this June for hockey for the upcoming 2017-18 hockey season.