Just like a minor hockey association or Hockey Canada event can’t run without volunteers, the Hockey Canada Century Tour wouldn’t be possible without the support of its sponsors.
Few have the impact, both inside the hockey world and out, than that of Respect Group.
Founded by Team Canada alumnus Sheldon Kennedy – a gold medallist at the 1988 IIHF World Junior Championship – and Wayne McNeil in 2004, the organization works to empower people to recognize and prevent abuse, bullying, and harassment.
But it’s not just about hockey.
Sure, Respect Group is a partner of Hockey Canada in its ongoing effort to combat bullying in the game, but Kennedy and McNeil are passionate about making an impact anywhere they can.
For this purpose, though, the focus is on Canada’s game. Respect Group has introduced a parent program to accompany its successful activity leader (coach, manager, official, etc.) program, ensuring the fight against abuse, bullying and harassment continues at home, not just at the rink.
Next up? A program for entry-level players, to make sure the lessons of respect and good sportsmanship begin at the lowest grassroots levels of the game.
As Respect Group celebrates a decade of making a difference, its programs continue to prosper.
The activity leader program is used by national sport organizations from coast to coast to coast, from hockey to gymnastics, and it is mandatory for all coaches in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
In addition to the new parent program, there are respect programs for the workplace and the classroom, meaning Kennedy and McNeil have the opportunity to affect Canadians in so many walks of life.
And now, with Respect Group as one of the major sponsors of the Hockey Canada Century Tour, the organization has one of its greatest opportunities to spread its message.
Over 11 months and in more than 100 communities in every province, millions of Canadians will learn about Respect Group, learn about their goals and their vision for a bullying-free Canada.
Simply put, that’s something Hockey Canada is excited – and extremely proud – to be a part of.