Changing hockey culture


R.I.S.E. Hockey Tournament and Summit on Diversity and Belonging

Hockey culture summit

R.I.S.E. (reach, inspire, soar, empower) is a local non-profit organization dedicated to promoting diversity, belonging and equality in sports.

In April, R.I.S.E. held its second hockey tournament – the theme was inclusivity, with young players engaging in great hockey and in meaningful conversation about the need for change in the sport that they love. The event has grown into a three-day tournament at Carleton University with approximately 400 youth and their parents and a one-day summit focused on making hockey more inclusive for all. During the summit, players, parents, coaches, hockey executives and the community came

together in dialogue, working towards a call to action.

Given hockey’s 2017 Declaration of Principles, the current and ongoing issues of maltreatment by players, coaches and spectators, and the long overdue need for positive culture change for the survival of the sport, the theme for the hockey summit was “Changing the Hockey Culture: The Challenge and the Opportunity.”

Rouba El Khatib, a 16-year-old hockey player who came to Canada from Lebanon and was introduced to hockey in high school, shown with the NHL Willie O’Ree Community Hero award.

The objectives of the summit were to:

Engage attendees in the difficult conversations about the culture of hockey and issues of maltreatment in all its forms (e.g., abuse, bias, harassment, racism, etc.);

Explore, debate and share insights on creating a safer, more inclusive, positive and welcoming hockey environment for all;

Encourage attendees to be advocates and champions for culture change in their hockey organizations;

Recognize and honour individuals, groups or organizations for their efforts and initiatives to make hockey accessible to racialized and marginalized youth and to promote and advance positive changes in hockey’s policies, practices, programs and services.

Panel discussion on changing hockey culture, from left: Moezine Hasham, Rouba El Khatib, Alex Vincent, David Godwin, his mother Vicky Deselliers and host Adrian Harewood.

 Photos: Cheryl Gain




Share this