OTTAWA, June 3, 2015 — The University of Ottawa today announced that it is relaunching its varsity men’s hockey program. The Gee-Gees men’s hockey team will be ready to compete in the 2016-17 season.
Since the University suspended its men’s hockey program last year, uOttawa Sports Services has put in place measures aimed at creating the appropriate environment to relaunch it. The measures address recommendations made after an extensive examination of procedures, practices and culture following the suspension of the program. They provide student-athletes, coaches, administration and support staff in all varsity and competitive club sports with the guidance and support necessary to ensure respectful and appropriate conduct.
These measures include:
The implementation of behavioural guidelines. All varsity and competitive club student-athletes must formally agree to comply with them. These guidelines are consistent with the university’s harassment and discrimination policies. They are being adapted for coaches as well and, again, will be mandatory.
Mandatory participation of all varsity student-athletes in orientation sessions that cover hazing, harassment, anti-doping, alcohol use and the behaviour expected of anyone who wears the Gee-Gees colours and represents the University of Ottawa.
The establishment by Sports Services of an ethics and discipline committee whose mandate includes procedures related to implementing, enforcing and reporting incidents of misconduct.
A plan to implement the recommendations for Sports Services made by the Task Force on Respect and Equality, in keeping with the University’s president’s stated commitment. This will include harassment and sexual violence training for all varsity and competitive club student-athletes and full-time coaching staff.
“We are confident these measures will foster a positive environment for our student-athletes and coaching staff,” says Marc Schryburt, director of Sports Services. “We will ensure that all of Sports Services’ programs at uOttawa continue to receive our guidance and support.”
The University is also committed to running a hockey program that is competitive and exciting and provides a real opportunity for student-athletes to showcase their talent.
The relaunch of the program begins tomorrow with the search for a head coach. The University is seeking a dynamic coach with proven leadership skills and a comprehensive knowledge of Canadian interuniversity hockey. The successful candidate must also have a demonstrated ability to convey values consistent with the University’s mission and the Gee-Gees’ sports programs. Once the head coach is in place, recruitment of student-athletes will begin.
Sports Services has also established a Relaunch Committee of key alumni and business leaders, including Jean Lépine, Gee-Gees hockey alumnus, and Cyril Leeder, president of Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, to assist in the relaunch of the men’s hockey program.
“As a native of Ottawa and a former Gee-Gee player, I’m proud to join other former players in helping to shape the renewal of the hockey program and pave the way for future student‑athletes,” says Lépine.
“Canadian Interuniversity Sport is an important contributor to the social fabric and student experience at our universities. It is great to see the men’s hockey program returning to the University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Senators stand committed to working with the University, in any capacity, to ensure the successful re-integration and long term success of the program” adds Cyril Leeder, President Ottawa Senators Hockey Club.
The committee is tasked with overseeing the development and implementation of a business model to support the men’s hockey program in the initial relaunch phase as well as to ensure its long-term financial stability.
Members of the men’s varsity hockey Relaunch Committee:
Steve Chestnut, senior account manager, corporate partnerships, Senators Sports and Entertainment (Gee-Gees hockey alumnus 1985-90)
Jean-Nicholas Crépin, lawyer, Crépin Law (Gee-Gees hockey alumnus 2000-04)
Jean-Benoît Deschamps, Crown counsel, Public Prosecution of Canada (Gee-Gees assistant hockey coach 2007-11)
Patrick J. Lahey, VP operations/shareholder, Snelling Paper and Sanitation Ltd. (Gee-Gees hockey alumnus 1984-88)
Cyril Leeder, President, Ottawa Senators Hockey Club
Jean Lépine, director, corporate communications, Catalyst Capital Group Inc., and director, investor relations, Callidus Capital Corporation (Gee-Gees hockey alumnus 1985-90)
Kevin Reed, executive chairman, Retail Ready (Gee-Gees hockey alumnus 1988-91)
Paul G. Smith, corporate executive and board director (Gee-Gees hockey alumnus 1985-87)
Joey St-Aubin, President & CEO, Canlan Ice Sports Corp. (Gee-Gee hockey alumnus 1992-94)