Letters to the Editor

All not well with hockey

This letter is to hockey parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and everyone else who is concerned or should be concerned about our hockey system.

I've kept quiet long enough and am very disturbed about what I have experienced first hand and what I understand is still going on in our minor hockey system.You are probably saying "Why does she care?"  I care because you hear so much about bullying in our society these days but no one thinks it goes on in hockey. Some coaches do just that and justify it by saying "it's hockey, it'll toughen them up." If you speak up then they say the "parents are being a thorn in the executives' side."

My son played all his hockey here in the Castlegar system and it was a good system then. Our executive cared about all the kids, not just a few. There were no shady deals made to benefit those few. The ones who made it anywhere made it on their hard work, skills and dedication, not because the parents pulled strings. I also have four grandsons who play in this so called system.

Some examples of our flawed system, coaches use profanity in referring to 11-12 year old kids and justify it because "it's effective." They should never be bullied like this by a person they trust and look up to and are supposed to respect no matter who they are. If this was a teacher, how long would they be teaching? What was done about it when it was brought to the executive's attention? Nothing. He had to take a course, big deal. And yes he's back on the bench again this year. We need a new coaching coordinator? Meanwhile my grandson pays the ultimate price, all the psychological damage that goes along with being bullied. Another coach locks his team in the dressing room for 30 or so minutes after each game – is that unlawful confinement? Who knows what he's saying or doing in there, they are only nine and ten year-olds. Another coach swears at his players and then threatens them not to tell anyone what goes on in the dressing room.

Don't coaches know that the kids will play better if they aren't bullied like that? A fine example is the Castlegar pee wee rep team this year. No bulling or threatening and they brought home the banner and are going to the provincials. I realize the coaches give a lot of their time freely and I greatly appreciate that, but not the bullying.

 

-Verna Abietkoff,

Castlegar

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