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What Do Kids Love About Hockey? We Asked Them.

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 02/20/24, 1:30PM EST

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Hear about what Respect in Hockey means directly from the players

The Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA), in partnership with Respect Group, has released a new ‘Respect in Hockey’ video to remind parents and everyone involved in the game why kids love hockey and what respect means to them.

“It’s a fun sport. It’s fun to play, fun to learn,” said a player from Oshawa. “It keeps you busy, so you’re not always just at home watching TV. You can make so many friends.”

The video ties into the OMHA’s #HockeyIsFun campaign. It continues from the summer registration push of the same name which encouraged new families to sign up for hockey.

“It’s a fun sport. It’s fun to play, fun to learn. It keeps you busy, so you’re not always just at home watching TV. You can make so many friends.”

The campaign reemphasizes the shared core values of the OMHA and Respect Group for minor hockey – teamwork, sportsmanship, leadership and respect. The video, which features players as young as nine years old, has the participants speak candidly about what they love about hockey, but also what they may not like about parents yelling from the stands.

“Sometimes you get nervous because you think they’re yelling at you for doing something wrong,” said one of the players from Whitby.

Another player said, “I wish they (parents) knew it was just a game and it’s just for kids. They should understand it’s just fun.”

“Sometimes you get nervous because you think they’re yelling at you for doing something wrong."

“This video is an important reminder of why kids love to play hockey, and also makes us all aware of how adults can impact the player’s enjoyment of the game, both positively and negatively,” said Ian Taylor, Executive Director of the OMHA. “Hockey is Fun! Let's do everything we can to keep it that way.”

Respect Group was created by co-founders Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil to pursue their common passion: the prevention of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD) behaviours. The OMHA and Respect Group have worked closely together for nearly a decade to make hockey a safe, fun and respectful game for everyone involved.

“I applaud the OMHA for their leadership in emphasizing and ensuring that the game is FUN,” said Sheldon Kennedy, Co-Founder of Respect Group. “Now, more than ever, we need our kids to stay involved in sport and by keeping it fun means they will want to keep coming back!”

“I wish parents knew it was just a game and it’s just for kids. They should understand it’s just fun.”

It is the responsibility of all of us to make hockey a welcoming and respectful place at every rink. Creating a positive environment is up to the effort of players, bench staff, on-ice officials and parents. Like the kids said in the video, “it’s just a game.”

We encourage all OMHA participants to share the video with their hockey communities.


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