A new program will be brought forth by Yorkton Minor Hockey for the 2014/15 season.
The program, known as the ‘Respect In Sport’ (RIS) parent program, is designed to inform parents and guardians about, among others, the problem of verbal abuse in the rink. It will also hold the parents and guardians accountable for their actions.
But what exactly does this program entail? Will parents and guardians of hockey players have to endure a two week course, poring over notes while trying to keep a strong will? Not at all.
According to Yorkton Minor Hockey president Kerri Kawchuk, who has already completed her program, the actual process is very easy. “It really only takes one hour to complete and costs $12.60 with tax,” mentioned the YMH president. “It’s a whole video thing where they talk to you and it’s just to make a person more accountable. It’s no trouble at all.”
But for those that do find it too much, be warned. The only person that is affected by a parent or guardian opting out of the program is the hockey player they are the parent or guardian of.
That’s because the hockey player will not be allowed to set foot on the ice or even be rostered with a team if their parent or guardian does not complete the RIS parent program.
The RIS parent program originated in Alberta and has since grown roots nationwide, however Yorkton Minor Hockey is just one of 10-12 minor hockey programs from Saskatchewan centres to initiate the program and the lone one in the surrounding area to do so. However after the 2014/15 season, Kawchuk feels that other minor hockey organization will see what Yorkton has done and put step forward to do the same. “We’re the only ones in the smaller centres in the surrounding area that is implementing this right now and we hope that the rest will follow suit,” offered Kawchuk.
Kawchuk also mentioned that people have time to complete the program, noting that it only has to be done “by the start of the season” and that the link can be found on the Yorkton Minor Hockey website (www.yorktonminorhockey.ca).