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It’s Well Past Time the NHL Fixed a Culture That Allows Coaching Abuses of Power With Little Consequence

It’s Well Past Time the NHL Fixed a Culture That Allows Coaching Abuses of Power With Little Consequence

Source: Sports Illustrated:MICHAEL ROSENBERG

 

The NHL has a problem, and it’s not just that Bill Peters used the n-word with an African-born player, or that Mike Babcock apparently accosted a player to the point of a nervous breakdown, or that Marc Crawford has been accused of assaulting at least three players. It’s that they thought they could get away with all that—and for a long time, they did.

Hockey’s culture, endearing in so many ways, has some real shortfalls. For decades, coaches’ ideal player had soft hands, fast feet, a powerful shot and no vocal cords. Players are told to fall in line early and almost always do. No matter how much money they make or how famous they are, players just seem to want to play hockey. It’s charming. But coaches know they can take advantage, and teams become autocracies.

“What you hear is, ‘All those hockey guys are such nice guys, they’re so nice to work with,’” former NHL forward Sheldon Kennedy said. “You hear that all the time. And the players are good, most of the coaches are good people. [But] it’s not a player-empowered league. It is very authoritative, dominant. Even the star players in hockey don’t really have a voice … the big stars don’t speak up like they do in other leagues.”

Kennedy only played 310 games in the NHL, but he understands the sport’s cultural problem as well as anybody. In the 1990s, he publicly accused his junior-league coach Graham James of sexual abuse. James was convicted. For the last 16 years, Kennedy’s company the Respect Group has trained 1.3 million people in workplace and sporting conduct.

 

Kennedy is clear: “It’s not just a hockey issue.” But hockey is especially vulnerable. From the moment teen stars leave home to play junior hockey, they are told, “Make sure you listen to your coach.” The idea that authority figures know better than they do is instilled early and often. You can draw a line from Players’ Association head Alan Eagleson defrauding players to the current crisis.

The coaches in the news lately are not just any coaches. Babcock won the Stanley Cup once, nearly won it two other times, then signed the richest coaching contract in NHL history, with the league’s flagship team. Former Red Wing Johan Franzen, who has a history of concussions and depression, says Babcock verbally assaulted him to the point where he didn’t want to go to the rink.

Crawford also won the Cup. He has been accused of kicking and choking players.

Peters used the n-word in anger toward player Akim Aliu a decade ago, when Aliu played for Peters with the AHL’s Rockford Icehogs. Peters says he apologized in front of the entire team —which, if true, would mean the whole team knew about it. Yet Peters got two NHL coaching jobs after that.

Imagine seeing these kinds of headlines about Steve Kerr. Or Sean McVay. Or Joe Maddon.

The NHL can change, but only if commissioner Gary Bettman wants it to change—and early indications are that he does. He met with Aliu, who said they had “a great discussion.” And last week, NHL executive vice president Kim Davis reached out to Kennedy. They are supposed to talk this week.

 

Davis should ask Kennedy the same question I asked him:

When it comes to educating people about these issues, does the NHL trail youth hockey?

Kennedy’s response: “Absolutely.”

It is a strange phenomenon. In most sports, players have the most power when they are professionals. But hockey still clings to the archetype of the domineering coach. Most players fear losing ice time or getting sent down to the minors, and established stars don’t want to look like divas. You can see where players who want to speak up often feel trapped.

The Respect Group’s Respect in Sport Activity Leader Program, is mandatory for all coaches by Hockey Canada and all host families in the Canadian Hockey Legaue. More than 300,000 people have been certified. Hockey Canada requires one parent or care-giver of every youth player to complete the Respect in Sport Parent Program. Yet Kennedy says, “I’ve done nothing, ever with the NHL.”

Maybe Davis and Bettman will change that. This is not just about the coaches who have been named. Professional environments should have certain standards. Somebody has to implement them.

“They just need to get on board,” Kennedy said. “They need to support the good work that is happening in grassroots hockey … the sexual-abuse stuff has made the headlines for all these years. But the reality is, we’ve known the emotional and physical abuse and verbal abuse doesn’t make the headlines, but it’s probably more prevalent.”

 

Bettman is meeting with the league’s Board of Governors this week. He has declined to talk until after that meeting. He and the board should realize they have two options here. They can worry about damage control, or they can root out the problem and start fixing it. Kennedy says, “What I know about this stuff is when we have good leadership within an organization, or a team, this stuff doesn’t happen.” That applies to leagues, too.

Supporting safe and respectful learning

Supporting safe and respectful learning

Photo: Minister LaGrange, Sheldon Kennedy, trustees, student leaders and staff from Eastview Middle School. | La ministre de l’Éducation, Adriana LaGrange; Sheldon Kennedy; des conseillers scolaires de Red Deer Public; des leadeurs étudiants; et du personnel de l’école primaire Eastview Middle School à Red Deer.

 

 

 

Government is providing a grant of $300,000 per year over four years to support the Respect in School program, which educates school system employees on their responsibilities to ensure students are safe from abusive situations.

“All students deserve a positive and caring learning environment. With this grant, we are following through on our commitment to support safe schools that protect students against discrimination and bullying. I encourage all school leaders and staff to complete the Respect in School training for the benefit of our children.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education

The Respect in School online training, offered in English and French, will educate teachers and other school staff, bus drivers, parent volunteers and student leaders about how they can prevent bullying, harassment and discrimination in their schools.

“We are proud to stand alongside Alberta Education who, through their leadership, is making the safety and well-being of our kids their top priority. Respect in School will give school leaders the confidence to step up and step in when situations arise and help create safe and respectful learning environments for all students.”

Sheldon Kennedy, co-founder, Respect Group Inc.

Through its online training programs, Respect Group Inc. has certified more than 1.2 million people across Canada to recognize and prevent bullying, harassment and discrimination.

“As a district we recognized increasing concerns for mental health and wellness. As we developed our Valuing Mental Health initiative, one of the key elements for prevention and promotion was the district-wide implementation of Respect in School. Each of our staff members goes through the training to recognize and prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination. By educating our school staff on the prevention of these issues, we build a culture of respect across our school community.”

Nicole Buchanan, chair, Red Deer Public Schools

Albertans dealing with bullying or other issues that may be affecting their mental health can access supports 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including the Mental Health Helpline (toll-free at 1-877-303-2642), the Bullying Helpline (toll-free at 1-888-456-2323), Bullying Helpline Chat, and Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868).

Calls for diversity, inclusion in sports amplified following Peters allegations

Calls for diversity, inclusion in sports amplified following Peters allegations

SOURCE: Calgary Herald:

SAMMY HUDES

 

As the Calgary Flames investigate allegations of racism and physical force by head coach Bill Peters toward former players, some say changes are desperately needed in order to foster a more inclusive environment in hockey from the grassroots to professional levels.

The allegations began surfacing Monday when former Flames forward Akim Aliu wrote on social media that Peters “dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room” while both were in the minors during the 2009-10 season.

Former Carolina Hurricanes player Michal Jordan later alleged that Peters kicked him and punched another player “to the head” during a game. Peters coached the Hurricanes prior to joining the Flames.

The allegations of racial slurs came as no surprise to Cecil Harris, who in 2003 wrote a book on racism in the sport titled, “Breaking the Ice: The Black Experience in Professional Hockey.”

“Only the names have changed, unfortunately, because the same racial intolerance exists,” said Harris, who is based in New York.

Throughout his research, he said he spoke to many black players who described having “buried” racist experiences in order to advance their hockey careers, including former Flames captain Jarome Iginla.

“Iginla shared a story with me. It’s something that happened when he was 15 years old. He was chased by some people and racial slurs were uttered,” said Harris, adding Aliu was “right in believing that he would have been blamed” had he come forward with his allegations against Peters sooner.

“The onus would be put on him and he would be attacked and he wouldn’t be able to progress in the sport.”

In Canada, more than 50 sport organizations across the country have partnered with the Respect Group, which strives to prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination in sports.

Co-founder Wayne McNeil said games like hockey are changing as new Canadians continue to fuel population growth across Canada.

“Have they been slow? Maybe we’ve all been slow across all sports to really come up with the best approach to getting new Canadians involved,” he said.

“We need to come up with the right messaging and scheduling and levels of play that are going to make it really exciting for new Canadians to be part of it.”

McNeil said the group tries to prepare coaches with the tools needed to handle their behaviour, especially in high-emotion circumstances.

“The emotional levels that people feel — be it coaches, be it parents — in a sport, they get elevated to a level that you don’t typically see in a workplace, or that you even encounter when you’re in a school environment,” he said.

“You look at a lot of the things that happen. They’re quick responses to high emotional moments often followed by apologies because people realize ‘oh my god, I don’t typically act like that.’”

He said coaches need to “understand their legal and moral duty of care,” while remembering that their goal is to build self-esteem in participants.

In a statement, the Coaching Association of Canada said “inclusion must be a foundational pillar of our sport system” and that it continues to educate coaches, administrators, and volunteers on the most “constructive ways to build inclusive and respectful sport experiences.”

Andrea Carey, director of operations and special projects with Sport for Life, said issues surrounding diversity and inclusion at the grassroots level are “rapidly changing right now.”

Carey said the organization trains those in the sporting community to create inclusive environments, with a focus on creating opportunities for Indigenous people and newcomers, people with disabilities, women and girls.

Akim Aliu skates with the Calgary Flames during his time with the team in April 2012. LORRAINE HJALTE / CALGARY HERALD

She said there’s still a huge gap in terms of staff, volunteers, parents and players being fully prepared to ensure a welcoming culture at all times.

“In many cases, they don’t know what they don’t know. They might think they know about, let’s say racism. They think they know what issues are around racism,” said Carey.

“But if you dive deeper, often they really don’t know because they maybe haven’t had the opportunity to work with someone with lived experience that can share that story and bring those topics to light.”

That still needs to be tackled from the top-down, according to Harris, who noted that while “outstanding players” of colour like Iginla or Edmonton Oilers great Grant Fuhr found acceptance at hockey’s highest level, “marginal” players have a harder time than white athletes of the same calibre.

He said more diversity is needed among hockey’s most influential decision-makers.

“It’s business as usual if the overwhelming majority of coaches, assistant coaches and general managers are white. I think the black player who is subjected to racial slurs will be told ‘just forget about.’ They cut deep if those words are uttered to you,” he said.

“If there was more diversity and inclusion … I think that would send a strong message to all players: respect everybody regardless of their background, get racism out of the sport. It doesn’t belong here. It’s vile.”

shudes@postmedia.com
Twitter: @SammyHudes

Canadian universities failing to protect athletes from abusive coaches, students say

Canadian universities failing to protect athletes from abusive coaches, students say

SOURCE:

Laura Kane – The Canadian Press

By

The Canadian Press

 –

VANCOUVER — Meredith Goldhawk has loved hockey since she was four.

But she says since a coach at the University of Windsor harassed and bullied her, she can’t even bring herself to play a pickup game with friends.

“Some days I will just sit down and cry because she took so much away from me,” says the 22-year-old.

The athlete is among several across Canada who say universities are failing to protect players from abuse. Students in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia all say their schools mishandled serious complaints against coaches in recent years.

Their fight is part of a movement to end so-called “old-school” coaching techniques that experts say are abusive. But change is slow, they say, because coaches hold so much power over players and some mistakenly believe military-style training is key to winning.

Six hockey players, including Goldhawk, complained to the University of Windsor about coach Deanna Iwanicka in February. The athletes allege she humiliated them in front of others, belittled them with expletive-laden insults and kicked out some without cause.

The university hired an investigator but refused to provide the final report to complainants, instead sending a four-page summary that didn’t address all the allegations, say Goldhawk and fellow complainant Reagan Kaufman.

The summary says the investigator found the allegations were unsubstantiated. For the most part, Iwanicka was “direct, clear and professional,” though it was “inappropriate and disrespectful” to tell Goldhawk and Kaufman they were being cut by phone, it says.

“It’s definitely not right,” says Kaufman. “If they had been there for everything we went through, she definitely wouldn’t still be coaching.”

The school says it can’t comment on personnel matters and Iwanicka, who is still head coach of the women’s team, didn’t respond to calls and emails requesting comment.

Margery Holman, a retired kinesiology professor who helped the University of Windsor players file their complaints, says post-secondary institutions lack courage.

“Often it’s a ‘he said, she said’ and we lean in the direction of the person in power because they have more at stake,” she says. “We’re not going to fire a coach, no matter the preponderance of evidence, if we can’t prove it.”

She adds coaches have unique power over athletes’ futures, determining whether a player is a starter or a bench warmer and influencing scholarships and other opportunities.

At the University of Lethbridge, an investigator found in July 2018 that women’s hockey coach Michelle Janus had violated its harassment policy. The school required her to undergo counselling and additional training and it also started developing a coaches’ code of conduct.

But the six players who had filed complaints had called for Janus to be fired or suspended. In August 2018, four of the complainants launched a lawsuit against the university, Janus and athletics director Ken McInnes seeking more than $1 million in damages.

The lawsuit alleges Janus bullied players, insulted them as “pathetic” and “useless” while using expletives, threw water bottles, broke equipment, punched doors and participated in a “fine jar” that charged fees to players for their sexual history or personal lives.

It also accuses Janus and McInnes of requiring players to vote on whether to allow a teammate who had attempted suicide to return to the team.

None of the allegations have been proven in court. The university, Janus and McInnes deny all the allegations in a joint statement of defence and say the lawsuit should be struck as it is “scandalous, frivolous and vexatious.”

Janus left her position at the university in January.

Complainants Alannah Jensen, Brittney Sawyer and Chelsea Kasprick all say they’re still suffering psychological and emotional impacts. Kasprick alleges Janus forced her to play five weeks after shoulder surgery, potentially causing permanent damage.

“I put so much on the line for this coach who had all the power and control and abused me and secluded me and isolated me from all my teammates,” Kasprick says.

Janus, the university and a lawyer representing the defendants declined comment as the matter is before the court. McInnes did not reply to a request for comment.

Last week, the University of Victoria wrapped an appeal process after three athletes and an assistant coach filed complaints accusing women’s rowing coach Barney Williams of verbal abuse and harassment.

The three rowers say the university threatened them with disciplinary action if they speak about the results of the investigation.

Lily Copeland is one of the complainants and has alleged Williams criticized her weight and appearance and yelled at her in a small, locked room.

Williams has said respects the confidentiality of the university probe and couldn’t provide a detailed response until it wrapped up. He didn’t respond to requests for comment after the investigation concluded.

He says he regards coaching as a privilege, and he encourages athletes to become their best version of themselves. Other athletes on the team credit Williams with their success.

The university has said privacy legislation and its own confidentiality policies apply to all investigations.

Jennifer Walinga, a Royal Roads University professor and Commonwealth Games gold medallist in rowing, says her research has shown that humiliating or neglecting athletes typically leads to worse performances.

“You can still win and be broken,” she notes. “But you can achieve greater heights, win more gold medals and for longer periods of time with a values-based approach to coaching.”

That approach includes supporting athletes’ mental health as well as their physical health, Walinga explains.

But she says the coaching style that is similar to combat training, involving hurling insults and swearing at athletes, still exists because our society tends to glorify people who can endure abuse.

“In society, it’s a naivete or an ignorance about what sport actually involves,” she says. “Sport is not war. It’s not a battle at all.”

There is a growing campaign to rid Canadian sports of abuse and harassment.

More than 700 national-team athletes responded to a survey by the group AthletesCan about mistreatment. Seventeen per cent reported psychological injuries, 15 per cent experienced neglect and four per cent suffered sexual harm.

The federal government has brought in a series of initiatives, including establishing new policy for national sports organizations, funding the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre to create an investigation unit and setting up a toll-free confidential tip line.

It’s crucial to encourage young people to remain enrolled in sports, says Carolyn Trono, a director with the non-profit group Sport for Life Society.

“If the place that you are going to voluntarily isn’t positive, why would you stay?”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2019.

ATHLETICS ONTARIO JOINS THE MOVEMENT WITH RESPECT GROUP INC.

ATHLETICS ONTARIO JOINS THE MOVEMENT WITH RESPECT GROUP INC.

Athletics Ontario Joins the Movement with Respect Group Inc.

November 22, 2019

TORONTO – Athletics Ontario (AO) announced today that it will become Respect Certified. Athletics Ontario has joined the movement with Respect Group, a forward-thinking organization founded by former NHLer turned victims’ rights crusader Sheldon Kennedy to deliver training to equip employees with the education and skills needed to prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD) in the workplace.

“Programs are one thing, making them a requirement for all members of the organization is about leadership and accountability,” said Sheldon Kennedy, Co-Founder of Respect Group. “Congratulations to Athletics Ontario for moving how we treat one another from the Policy category to the Priority category!”

In our revised Membership Policy, we will be requiring that all Coaches complete the Respect Group’s program “Respect in Sport for Activity Leaders,” before completing their renewal on Trackie.

“This is another very positive step forward in Athletics Ontario’s commitment to improve governance, accountability and safety across the entire sport, and we are proud to be partnering with the Respect Group” said Dean Hustwick, President and Chair of AO.

 

Please learn more about, and register for, the program here: https://athletics-canada-al.respectgroupinc.com/

Review the Membership policy for additional details here: https://athleticsontario.ca/about/policies-and-governance/

 

About Respect Group Inc.

Respect Group (respectgroupinc.com) was incorporated on April 5th, 2004 by co-founders, Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil, to pursue their common passion: the prevention of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD). Respect Group is made up of a team of over 30 talented individuals whose passion is to create a global culture of Respect. As Canada’s leading on-line provider of prevention education related to BAHD, Respect Group has certified over 1.2 million Canadians involved in sport, schools and the workplace. Respect Group is a Certified B Corporation (bcorporation.net).

Sheldon Kennedy stops by RDC to talk advocacy, self-care and openness

Sheldon Kennedy stops by RDC to talk advocacy, self-care and openness

SOURCE: LACOMBE ONLINE
Published: Wednesday, 20 November 2019 20:09
Written by Kalisha Mendonsa

 

 

Sheldon Kennedy stopped at Red Deer College this afternoon for a fireside-chat style to his vision to eliminate bullying, abuse, harassment, and discrimination.

Hosted by RDC President Dr. Peter Nunoda, the fireside-style discussion focused on Kennedy’s advocacy work with the Respect Group, as well as his own personal experiences with overcoming and addressing trauma.

Some of the themes of Kennedy’s discussion were around encouraging bystanders to act, to create a safe place for communication and to encourage people to practice talking about their issues so that changes can be made.

“A lot of times, it’s just people saying “You know, I’m feeling off today. I don’t know what’s going on” or “Hey, I heard a couple of comments, I saw your body language, it looks like you were really impacted by that” – those are the types of conversations I think are really important,” he said.

Kennedy’s overarching goal to inspire a culture of respect is foundational to the work of the Respect Group, and his message is applicable to all workplaces, schools and sports organizations.

The work done within the Respect Group is based on advocacy, education and encouraging people to be able to have difficult conversations before critical moments of crisis. He said it’s about creating a culture where, in our businesses, our schools, or communities, people are caring about each other and are empowering each other to take a stand when they feel something is wrong.

In Central Alberta, Kennedy is known for his extensive efforts to help bring the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre to life.

“They’re doing great work. I’m still quite involved in getting that work done, and getting that building here. I may not be as forefront and centre as I once was, but I’m still helping behind the scenes. I think that this community continually shows up, and I think that just makes sense,” he said.

“When you look what we’re trying to do, and what they’re trying to do and what they’re doing, it just makes sense. To deal with these issues, we have to be working together. We have to take a community approach to these issues.”

The issues that Kennedy is alluding to include child abuse, sexual abuse, mental health and wellness, trauma and breaking the cycles and societal conditions that allow these issues to continue.

“Basically, the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre, what they’ve done is ask who are the organizations that have the legislative mandate to work in the space across our area, let’s bring them together and help them to get the best outcomes for kids – to me, it’s not rocket science.

He said having CACAC and the other agencies in our region working together is the best way to build better outcomes for children in the future. He said it comes down to leadership, and that he sees that in the work of local agencies.

“I think they’re doing a great job. I’m quite confident that the Centre of Excellence, the Child Advocacy Centre and the building will be built on the campus. I think there’s a need and there’s a will. We need the leadership and we need the data and the analytics to support the work around early intervention, prevention and integrated practice throughout the province of Alberta and across the country.”

Kennedy said he’s glad to continue to support the strong work of advocacy groups and organizations but is thankful he decided to take a bit of a step back. He said he’s focused on maintaining his health and well-being so that he can be a strong father, husband and person in his own life.

New Training For School Division Staff Will Help Build Safe And Inclusive Learning Environments

New Training For School Division Staff Will Help Build Safe And Inclusive Learning Environments

Today, Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant was joined in Regina by Respect Group Co-founder Sheldon Kennedy, to announce the new Respect in School training for teachers, school staff and volunteers.  The training, which will be available in a few weeks, is being offered at no cost to all school divisions, First Nation education authorities and independent schools.

“We are happy to partner with Respect Group to make this valuable training available to all school staff in Saskatchewan,” Wyant said.  “We understand the importance of ensuring safe and welcoming learning environments for everyone, and this training will further support the adult leaders in our schools to better understand and act on complex issues.”

The Ministry of Education is partnering with Respect Group to deliver the 90-minute online personal development training course.  The training will be available over the next two years and includes content on preventing, identifying, responding to and reporting incidents of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination in schools.

“We are so grateful for the leadership that Saskatchewan continues to demonstrate when it comes to the prevention of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination,” Kennedy said.  “Respect in School will give school leaders the confidence to step up and step in when situations arise and help create safe and respectful learning environments for all students.”

“The safety and well-being of students is always a priority for school boards,” Saskatchewan School Boards Association President Dr. Shawn Davidson said.  “School division employees and our communities work hard every day to create safe and caring environments for our students and we as school boards are welcoming of additional supports being made available.”

This training is part of the Government of Saskatchewan’s commitment to ensuring schools are safe and inclusive environments for all students and staff.

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For more information, contact:

Dale Hunter
Education
Regina
Phone: 306-787-9501
Email: dale.hunter@gov.sk.ca
Cell: 306-529-9207

Respect Group/Workplace Fairness Institute Action Summit

Respect Group/Workplace Fairness Institute Action Summit

Is your organization at a loss as how to address psychological health and safety or challenged with Alberta’s new Occupation Health and Safety code?  We are bringing support.  Join us for the day to get insight into this complex issue and take away real tools you can immediately apply in your workplace.

Our upcoming Action Summit will examine the intersection of Psychological Health and Safety and Civility & Respect.  You won’t want to miss it so join us on January 29th, 2020.

 

Attention HR professionals: Earn 6 CPD Hours by attending the Action Summit!

Get Your Tickets HERE

Summit Developers

The Workplace Fairness Institute and Respect Group

 

As partners, the Workplace Fairness Institute and Workplace Fairness West believe that psychological health and safety is AS important as physical health and safety.  That is why we support organizations across Canada to create working environments in which employees can thrive. Whether that’s promoting civility and respect, addressing bullying/harassment, managing conflict, training employees, or coaching leaders we have the expertise and knowledge to partner with businesses to create strong and healthy employees.  When employees thrive, businesses succeed.

That’s also why we work closely with Respect Group and agreed to step up in Alberta to provide a learning opportunity for organizations and employees to address issues focused on psychological health and safety and civility and respect.

Who Should Attend?

Sessions will benefit:

  • Senior HR Professionals
  • Senior Occupational Health and Safety Professionals
  • Union Representatives
  • Municipalities
  • Business Leaders
  • Educational Institutions
  • Non profits

Why Should I Attend?

By attending you will:

  • Understand what your duty is as an employer to address the OHS issues and their impact on psychological health and safety.
  • Walk away with a road map of what your organization needs to do to create or improve upon a psychologically healthy workplace
  • Receive compliance and risk reduction ideas and solutions that can be easily implemented within your organization.
  • Be able to build a business case, determine your organizations return on investment and successfully position the importance and value within your organization
  • Hear from other leading organizations as they share their experiences regarding challenges and successes in creating psychologically healthy workplaces.

 

What’s my Investment?

Your investment will provide on-going value for yourself and your organization.  Ticket prices are deliberately kept low to ensure that we are able to support all participants.

 

Sales are limited so act soon!

Regular – $199

Early Bird – 20% off Until December 15th, 2019

Group Rate – 35% off regular price for groups of 4 or more

 

Purchase your tickets HERE

 

Where will the learning happen?

Join us in Calgary, Alberta on January 29, 2020 at the historic Grand Theater.  An appropriate setting to engage participants to be creative, join in the facilitated discussions of the day and experience new learning.

608 1st St. SW    Calgary Alberta

Conveniently located just off the C-Train Line
Available Parking – James Short Parkade 115 4th Ave SW, Indigo Parkade at Centre Street – North of 7th Ave SW

What does the Day Look Like?

For Detailed Session Information click here.

8:30-9:00 Registration

9:00-9:15 Intro & Opening Remarks – Sheldon Kennedy – The Human Cost of Psychological Health and Safety

9:15-10:15 Fireside Chat – Psychological Health and Safety – Where are we now? 

10:15-10:30 Networking Break

10:30-12:00 Morning Breakout Sessions

  1. How can we position our people and organization’s culture to always place RESPECT first in everything we do?
  2. Developing a Roadmap to Create a Psychological Safe Workplace

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-2:15  ROI and Building the Business Case – Sharing Resources

2:15-2:30 Networking Break

2:30-3:45 Afternoon Breakout Sessions – Sharing the Journey to Psychological Health & Safety

  • Non-Profit: Calgary Drop-In Centre
  • Municipality: City of Lethbridge
  • Union: TBD

3:45-4:00 Wrap-up

4:00-5:00 Join us in the Mezzanine for networking after conference

 

Who will be joining us?

For Speaker Bio’s click here.

Sheldon Kennedy – Internationally known Abuse Prevention Advocate

Dr. Pat Ferris – International Bullying/Harassment Expert, researcher and social worker focused on the treatment of bullying/harassment targets

Wayne McNeil – – Co-founder Respect Group and Canadian Red Cross Caring Award Recipient

Cameron Mitchell – President Kasa Consulting , Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) representative, Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) and certified COR auditor

Blaine Donais – Present and Founder of the Workplace Fairness Institute, workplace conflict management specialist and author of Workplaces that Work, Engaging Unionized Employees and The Art & Science of Workplace Mediation.

Brad Blaisdell – Western Regional Director of the Respect in the Workplace Program at Respect Group

Danica Kelly – Eastern Regional Director of the Respect in the Workplace Program at Respect Group

Michelle Phaneuf – Partner Workplace Fairness West, certified Psychological Health and Safety Adviser and experienced workplace restoration expert.

Sandra Clarkson – Executive Director of the Calgary Drop-In Centre

Barb Neckich – Senior Human Resources Consultant, City of Lethbridge

Respect Group Congratulates Our Co-Founder, Sheldon Kennedy, on his performance in this Season’s Battle of the Blades

Respect Group Congratulates Our Co-Founder, Sheldon Kennedy, on his performance in this Season’s Battle of the Blades

 

15 years ago, ex-NHLer and internationally acclaimed child advocate, Sheldon Kennedy founded Respect Group. Since that time, he has been a source of courage, passion and inspiration for everyone on our team and thousands more across Canada in his relentless pursuit to prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination.

 

For the past several weeks, Sheldon exchanged his hockey skates for figure skates, mastered the toe pick and competed in CBC’s Battle of the Blades with his skating partner, Kaitlyn Weaver, three-time World Ice Dance medalist.

Through their dance, they told us the story of pain, resilience, healing, hope and laughter. Together, they dazzled the viewers, impressed the judges and put their heart and soul into their performances in order to raise $100,000 for Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities; a charity dedicated to giving families in financial need and their children a chance to participate in organized sports.

Sheldon and Kaitlyn, thank you for reminding us that pushing beyond our comfort zones can bring about the change we wish to see!

Sheldon Kennedy, Kaitlyn Weaver triumph on CBC’s Battle of the Blades

Sheldon Kennedy, Kaitlyn Weaver triumph on CBC’s Battle of the Blades

Pair’s win raises $100K for charity that helps kids get involved in sports, physical activities

Ice dancer Kaitlyn Weaver and retired NHLer Sheldon Kennedy have triumphed as the winning pair of CBC-TV’s Battle of the Blades.

Weaver and Kennedy were revealed as the winners of the revived competition series on Thursday’s season 5 finale, which aired live from Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre — historic site of the former Maple Leaf Gardens — in Toronto.

With their win, the duo has raised a total of $100,000 for their chosen charity: Canadian Tire Jumpstart, a national group that provides financial assistance to kids in need so they can access sports and physical activities.

“This is a surreal experience, I had no idea what to expect going in. I came here with an open heart and an open mind, and I leave so blessed to share this experience with Sheldon — all for an incredible cause,” Weaver said in a news release. “I feel changed, I feel like a better version of myself because of him, and I’m so grateful.”

The pair beat out Weaver’s longtime ice-dance partner Andrew Poje, who was teamed up with Team Canada women’s hockey star Natalie Spooner. Placing second, Poje and Spooner raised $17,500 for each of their chosen charities —Right to Play and Fast and Female, respectively.

“This was a journey; I remember the first day, Kaitlyn and I had a conversation about how we needed to show people hope, we needed to inspire people. If you’re in a dark place, you can come out of that, and that’s what I’m so grateful for,” Kennedy said in a news release.

“For a long time I never thought I could smile or do anything like this. We had to show people, and give them hope.”

Rounding out the finalists were Ekaterina Gordeeva and Bruno Gervais, who raised $15,000 each for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Gervais-Talbot Foundation, respectively.

Ahead of the series, Weaver and Kennedy had described their simple approach for the competition.

“Our strategy is as it is in life in general: take this one day at a time,” said Kennedy, who in his NHL career played for the Detroit Red Wings, the Boston Bruins and the Calgary Flames.

“Whether we’re figure skating or going to speak to a group of kids or going for a walk with our family, what are we going to do today to be the best we can?”

Kennedy is a spokesperson for victims of child abuse, after speaking out about his junior hockey coach, who was convicted of molesting Kennedy and other young players during the 1990s. Kennedy joined Battle of the Blades after a recent decision to take a step back from advocacy work to focus on his own well-being.

Accepting the challenge to become a Battle of the Blades competitor came “at a point in my life where I needed to have some fun,” he said.

“People [who] have been abused, sometimes they never believe that there’s a way that they can feel better, that they can smile again or that they can do things that they may dream of.

“The reality is, we can have fun. There is a way out and this is about hope.”

 

For one of Weaver and Kennedy’s two performances on the penultimate episode, they skated to Elton John’s I’m Still Standing, which he called a personal anthem. The duo earned a standing ovation from the live audience.

“It kind of sums up not only Battle of the Blades but my own journey,” Kennedy said. “I’m still standing. A real survivor.”

The series, which showcases figure skating pros and hockey stars competing in pairs, returned to the CBC-TV lineup this fall — a decade after the show first debuted on the public broadcaster. It was put on hiatus in 2014 amid budget cuts.

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