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Calgary, AB – The Western Hockey League (WHL), in partnership with the Calgary Police Service, launched a new comprehensive training and education program at a media conference in Calgary on Monday.

Developed with the full endorsement and assistance of the Calgary Flames, the Calgary Police Service in collaboration with the WHL Security Network created the WHL Player Impact Program presentation to ensure all players in the WHL receive standardized seminars on the potential risks they face while playing in the League.

The WHL Player Impact Program will cover topics such as responsible social media use, relationships and consent, drugs and alcohol, gambling, diversity issues and their role as positive role models. The curriculum was developed with input from all three of the partner organizations to make sure it is relevant to the challenges that WHL players face as they prepare for professional hockey or post-secondary studies. The WHL Player Impact Program will be delivered by the WHL Security Network Club Liaison Officers assigned to all 22 WHL member Clubs.

“The WHL and our member Clubs very much appreciate the leadership and support the Calgary Police Service has provided in developing a comprehensive presentation on the risks our players and youth in general may encounter in today’s society,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “We believe it is extremely important to educate our players on these potential risks through our WHL Security Network so they can continue to serve as positive role models in the communities where they play.” 

The WHL Player Impact Program presentation will feature a series of videos and discussion points to assist players in understanding the impact their actions may have on their teammates and community as well as their own personal careers.

“It is great to see the WHL being proactive with helping its young players recognize that the decisions they make today can have lasting impacts well into the future,” said Superintendent Kevan Stuart with the Calgary Police Service. “Playing in the WHL gives these young men opportunities they have never had before – opportunities to do both good and harmful things. This program will help them make the most of those opportunities to have a positive impact on their futures and on the people around them.”

The WHL Player Impact Program will be implemented throughout the WHL starting later this month. Designed to be delivered by police officers, the Program will also be shared with any interested police agency in the communities where the WHL’s 22 member Clubs are located.

To further enhance the world class environment WHL players develop in, the WHL established a league-wide WHL Security Network during the 2014-15 season. The WHL Security Network includes a Club Liaison Officer assigned to all 22 WHL member Clubs. The Club Liaison Officer’s duties include coordinating the WHL Player Impact Program presentation and serving as a mentor for players on each WHL Club.

The WHL Player Impact Program presentation is one of a series of WHL Players First support services the WHL and its member Clubs provide to its players each season. Other WHL Players First mandatory programs include the WHL Red Cross RespectEd Seminars, the CHL Drug Education and Anti-Doping program, the CHL Concussion Management Safety program and the WHL Career Counselling program.

Scott Harrigan
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