June 21, 2013, Calgary, AB (ISN) – The Canadian Red Cross announced today that the Western Hockey League has been presented with a national citation for their continued contributions to the prevention of harassment and abuse in hockey. The presentation was made recently at the WHL Annual Meeting in Vancouver.
“We are pleased to present the Western Hockey League with this honour,” stated Lisa Evanoff, Red Cross National Training Manger. “The WHL has been a leader in the implementation of Canadian Red Cross RespectED workshops and as a result have been very effective in educating their players in the presentation of harassment and abuse.”
The WHL has been a leader in creating safe environments for their players since 1997 following the courageous disclosure by former WHL and NHL player Sheldon Kennedy that he had been abused by his junior hockey coach. For the past 16 years, the WHL has ensured all players entering the League are educated on what constitutes abuse, bullying and harassment and how to prevent it from occurring. Each season, WHL players participate in interactive Canadian Red Cross RespectED workshops where they are provided with the knowledge and skills to assist them in developing respectful attitudes and behaviors, not only in hockey but also in life.
All hockey personnel with each of the WHL’s 22 Member Clubs are also required to be certified through the Respect in Sport on-line training program. Respect in Sport, which was co-founded by Sheldon Kennedy, further educates WHL Club management and staff on the importance of providing a safe and respectful environment for all WHL players.
“The WHL is honoured to receive the National Citation from the Canadian Red Cross,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “The WHL is fully committed to continue working with the Canadian Red Cross and Respect in Sport to ensure we provide a safe and positive environment for all of our players.”