Game Development: BGHC, NHL Diversity and Inclusion Update, and more
Growing The Game is Ian Kennedy’s weekly feature that addresses the global game, how social issues impact the sport, and how hockey’s important cultural shift continues to evolve.
Expected biennial NHL Diversity & Inclusion Report: Kim Davis
Last week, I had the opportunity to speak to Kim Davis, the NHL’s Executive Vice President for Social Impact, Growth Initiatives and Legislative Affairs. She confirmed that the latest NHL report on diversity and inclusion will be a biennial report.
“We would be expected to do that kind of reporting, and to hold ourselves accountable every two years,” Davis said, noting that the NHL was already working on its next report coming out in 2024.
Davis acknowledged that the league has a lot of work to do, but said the leadership would continue to “swerve” to make change for fans, attract newcomers to the game, lower barriers and change the culture.
“It’s our responsibility to make sure that we lean in,” Davis said of the NHL’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
“Regime change requires a system approach,” she continued. “It’s very easy to look on the outside and say, ‘This isn’t going well’ and ‘they can do better,’ but the heart of big tankers is not for the faint of heart – it takes real work and it takes everyone a day. Some days are better than others, But you have to keep leaning towards it.”
According to Davies, the NHL hopes to bring in more BIPOC players in the coming seasons by supporting initiatives aimed at creating and supporting space for these athletes.
“We have a responsibility to make sure we do everything, starting from within our sport, to put the mechanisms in place so that we can create an environment where we can bring the best talent on and off the ice,” Davis said. .
Donate sticks and equipment to reduce barriers
The cost of hockey, specifically ice time and equipment, continues to rise. During the pandemic, inflation has driven up these costs. In recent weeks, two large Ontario organizations have stepped up to donate sticks and equipment to organizations and individuals in need to help reduce economic barriers to the game.
Roustan Hockey, whose mission is to advance the game of hockey by making hockey more accessible so that hockey truly is available to everyone, has donated 1,000 Christian brands’ sticks and two sets of McKenney goalkeeper equipment to Hockey Equality, a group run by former NHLer Anthony Stewart. Hockey Equality diversifies the game of hockey by providing programming, mentorship, and support for BIPOC and women in hockey. (Disclosure: Roustan Hockey is owned by W. Graeme Roustan, who also owns The Hockey News.)
The Ontario Minor Hockey Association also stepped up announcing this month that it will donate 170 CCM players and goalkeeper kits to support youth across the province. through them Player and goalkeeper assistant An OMHA program, OMHA hopes to “make it easier for new hockey families to fall in love with the sport without facing any financial barriers or having to commit to buying new equipment.”
PWHPA prepares for third dream gap position
The third PWHPA event of the season will take place November 26-27 in Pittsburgh. Recently, PWHPA also played Canada vs USA Rivalry Series in the city.
“The City of Pittsburgh, as well as the penguins, have been a big supporter of the PWHPA union, so we are excited to be back in November,” said Gina Heiford, PWHPA operations advisor.
“With the success of Rivalry Rematch earlier this year, we know there is a huge appetite for elite women’s hockey in Pittsburgh, so we know this is going to be a great weekend for fans and athletes alike. We are also excited to be participating in the Burgh Girls Fest “Throughout the weekend – by providing insight to young players and access to the best hockey players in the world, we are continuing our goal of developing the game.”
Black Girl Hockey Club Canada is set to launch
On Saturday, November 12, Canadian Charities Tire Jumpstart (Jumpstart) will host a free ice skating in Scotiabank Pond to officially welcome the Black Girl Hockey Club (BGHC) to Canada.
“Black Girl Hockey Club, a non-profit organization, aims to make hockey more inclusive for black women and their families, friends and allies, and to encourage more participation in hockey from black youth,” said Saroya Tinker in a press release, executive director of BGHC Canada and advocate with PHF’s Toronto Six. “The non-profit organization is now expanding in Canada, and we are excited to partner with Jumpstart – a charity that provides access to sports for all children – as our lead sponsor for the next three years,” said Tinker.
According to the press release, BGHC is being launched in Canada to inspire and sustain the passion for hockey within the black community. The BGHC will work to prevent exclusion in hockey based on race, gender, sexuality, or ability to address institutional racism, financial vulnerability, and access to programs.”
Transitional Game: A Deep Dive Into GTHL Embed Efforts
This week, the Carnegie Initiative, NHL, NHLPA, MLSE, GTHL, and Toronto Metropolitan University have teamed up to host an event called move game Inside Toronto. Held to mark Herb Carnegie’s 103rd birthday, the event was intended to “engage players, parents, partners, coaches, sports leaders and other stakeholders in important conversations about the growth of inclusion and acceptance in the game of hockey.”
Keynote speakers include Ted Nolan, Karl Soban, Anthony Stewart, Sheldon Kennedy and Scott Oakman.
In the words of Bernice Carnegie, the daughter of Herb and co-founder of the Carnegie Initiative, the event was designed to facilitate “challenging discussions and finding solutions for how to make a big difference in the sport that my father loved, and so many others loved, though not always welcome.”
In other words, Carnegie hopes the event will grow the game for everyone.
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