The one place that parents seem to shy away from making hockey safe and fun, though, is at the rink. I found this to be surprising since most parents are actively involved in their child's sporting activities, but the numbers told a different story.
"A recent study conducted on behalf of the Chevrolet Safe & Fun Hockey program found that only 38 per cent of Canadian parents believe they're responsible for teaching kids safety on the ice, with 55 per cent saying it's the coach's job to educate players and only 10 per cent recognizing the importance of more parental involvement."Can you believe that - only 38 percent of Canadian parents think they're responsible for teaching their own kids about safety on the ice? It's funny how we hear about all of these insane hockey parents who scream at coaches, other parents, the players on the ice, the zamboni driver, and anyone else who gets in their way, so you have to think that they're part of that 62% of parents who feel they don't need to teach their kids about safety on the ice. After all, it's their kids who will be the NHL stars, right? Everyone else be damned because little Johnny or Sally is the next Gretzky or Wickenheiser!
Thankfully, Chevrolet is taking an initiative to make it clear that hockey is not supposed to be cutthroat. The Chevrolet Safe & Fun Hockey Program has tirelessly worked to teach everyone that respect for one's self and others and responsibility of one's actions are crucial to keeping players safe on the ice. The study above was conducted to determine how informed and engaged parents are when it comes to teaching their kids about where respect and responsibility in the game starts. From the looks of the results, it seems that parents don't seem to know who is responsible for teaching their children about respect in sports.
"Parents already know what needs to be done to keep their children safe but they underestimate how much of a role they themselves play," said Cassie Campbell-Pascall, spokesperson for Chevrolet Safe & Fun Hockey. "One of the things we are doing with Chevrolet Safe & Fun Hockey is making sure everyone, from parents to coaches, are well informed and doing their part to keep players safe."
We all know the loud-mouthed parents who are an embarrassment to the team. They scream, they yell, they curse, they swear, and they are general embarrassment for everyone around them. Respect? They have it for no one - coaches, parents, players, fans, arena employees included. How are they teaching their kids about respect if they act like that?
Well, the Chevrolet Safe & Fun Hockey Program mandates that all participants in the game should consistently demonstrate a respectful attitude toward other people who are involved in the game of hockey, irrespective of their position. This includes players, coaches, managers, referees, off-ice officials, parents, and facility personnel, and it should be shown by both parties at all times.
In terms of responsibility, all participants are required to show responsible behaviour before and after competition regardless of the outcome of the game.
Despite the importance of these values, less than half (49 per cent) of parents believe greater emphasis on respect is the change that's needed and only 26 per cent of parents recognize respect of fellow players as being most important in keeping kids safe in hockey. Although parents are underestimating their role, the good news is that almost three quarters (71 per cent) say they talk to their kids about safety each time they play.In order to help kids stay safe while playing hockey, Chevrolet is stepping up in a big way for parents in order to help them protect their kids. For the second year in a row, Chevrolet Canada is conducting their Hockey Helmet Program where they give away free hockey helmets to five year-old players registered to play minor hockey in Canada. That's right - YOU can get your tyke a free hockey helmet courtesy of Chevrolet Canada to keep them safe!
The success of this program is overwhelming as they gave away over 15,000 helmets last year, and Chevrolet expects to give away another 20,000 helmets this year! Pretty cool right? Well, it gets better!
Chevrolet has teamed up with ThinkFirst, the leaders in concussion education and brain & spinal cord injury prevention in Canada. Parents signed up for Chevrolet's Safe & Fun Hockey program get a special discount on the ThinkFirst Concussion Education Course! So while 83 percent of hockey parents know that an injury to the head isn't the only way to sustain a concussion, parents can now get more information on concussions and concussion prevention from ThinkFirst.
That's a pretty solid deal - a free helmet to protect your child's noggin and resources to help keep your child's noggin safe while protected! "Chevrolet has always been committed to providing leading safety innovations and that commitment now includes keeping young players safe while learning hockey," said Peter Cornu, Sponsorships Manager, Chevrolet Canada. "The Hockey Helmet Program as part of Chevrolet Safe & Fun Hockey is our way of providing new and safe equipment and helping these players learn that safe hockey is fun hockey."
I'm usually against corporate involvement in these sorts of things, but Chevrolet is doing an outstanding job of helping parents ensure their kids are safe and sound on the ice while providing a positive learning environment in which they can thrive. I don't drive a Chevy myself, but I can certainly say that they have my support in an excellent program such as this.
Parents, go get yourself a free helmet for your five year-old! And while you're at it, check out Bauer's twelve-point checklist for equipping your hockey star the right way!
Finally, here's Cassie Campbell-Pascall talking about the program on CityNews Toronto. She delivers an excellent message, and I hope it's one that you'll take to heart and remember the next time you're at the rink or talking with your future stars.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!