The Calgary Police Service is partnering with the Western Hockey League (WHL) and the Calgary Flames to launch a new education program aimed at teaching young hockey players about making good decisions.
The Player Impact Program is going to be mandatory training for WHL players and it will cover topics such as responsible social media use, sexual consent, drugs, alcohol, gambling, being inclusive and being strong leaders. 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 their post-secondary 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,” says 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 need for the Player Impact Program was first raised in a conversation between Brian Burke, Hockey Operations Manager of the Calgary Flames, and the Calgary Police Service. The partnership that resulted led to a course that uses a mix of video and discussion to help the players understand the impact their actions have on their future, teammates, community and friends. The curriculum is designed to be delivered by police officers and it will be shared with any interested police agency in cities where the WHL has teams.
“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 prominent role models in the communities where they play.”
The Player Impact Program was officially launched on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, and will be presented to teams throughout the WHL this fall.