Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
During the 2020-2021 season, the CMHA Executive recognized the need to prioritize initiatives around education and programming for our increasingly diverse membership.
This began partly due to continuing reports of racism incidents occurring within our Association. These incidents were difficult to resolve due to the 'they said vs they said' nature. This caused a desire on the part of the Executive to tackle this problem through education. In addition, the significant social movements within National Hockey promoting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as a priority for our sport, and the importance of education and allyship to those programs' success, also influenced this effort.
As a result, our Association formed a DEI Committee, which is now in it's 3rd year. This Committee is intended to work together with the Executive and membership to create programs, education and conversations to promote a culture of inclusion and belonging for players, families, team officials, volunteers, and all those who are part of our Colts Family.
It takes years to change organizational culture. We recognize that the work we are doing today is only a step in the right direction.
Every initiative below is designed to focus on our DEI Committee’s primary focuses for the 2022-2023 season:
- To address gender-based discrimination in minor hockey by cultivating a safe, inclusive space for players and members of all genders. Typically known as sexism.
- To address race/ethnicity-based discrimination in minor hockey by cultivating a safe, inclusive space for players and members of all racial/ethnic backgrounds. Typically known as racism.
DEI Committee Chair: Mina Sahota email@example.com
DEI Committee Members: Craig Sherbaty, Deanna Cox, Dee Purewal, Manvir Kajla, Marty Jones, Naomi Jesson, Tracy Reid
Any member of Our Association, including players, is encouraged to join the committee.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up! All are welcome.
Initiatives and Programs (so far..)
Indigenous First Shift
In July of 2021, BC Hockey hosted an Indigenous Cultural Workshop, which CMHA was fortunate to have a representative attend. It was an excellent learning experience, and we were excited to then put our learning into action!
BC Hockey then invited us to partner with them to create an Indigenous 'Try Hockey' program. We reached out to our usual First Shift partners (Bauer, Hockey Canada, and the Vancouver Canucks), and they were as excited about this as we were. This allowed us to host a program FREE for Indigenous youth to participate in, including head-to-toe equipment, supplied by Bauer.
This season they have all come to the plate again, and Cloverdale Minor Hockey is thrilled to report that we will be hosting our 2nd Annual Indigenous First Shift program.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission made 94 Calls to Action for Canadians. Our Association recognizes our role in meeting calls 87-91 which focus on sports. By supporting the Indigenous First Shift, we seek to hold space for players of Indigenous ancestry to participate, excel and thrive in minor hockey.
For more information: Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action
For more information: Indigenous First Shift
At the start of the 2021-2022 season, Our Association added specific DEI-focused questions to the annual membership survey. We asked members to share their experiences of inclusion and belonging based on various forms of diversity including gender, language, neurodiversity, race, and ethnicity.
Survey responses indicated the following areas where CMHA is thriving when it comes to DEI:
- CMHA uses social media and other tools to support DEI.
- CMHA treats everyone equally.
- CMHA has cultivated a space where diversity is evident in teams
Survey responses indicated the following areas where CMHA has work to do when it comes to DEI:
- CMHA needs to provide education, support, and tools for coaches to understand DEI and cultivate inclusion.
- CMHA needs to address barriers to inclusion for those who identify as minorities.
- CMHA needs to address barriers to equity and inclusion for players of all skill levels.
- CMHA needs to increase diversity in coaches.
- CMHA needs to ensure that there are clear ways to report experiences of discrimination.
The DEI Committee will be working with the Executive to build programs to address the opportunities above.
Mental Health in Minor Hockey
In the past several seasons, CMHA has supported the Buddy Check for Jesse program, focused on bringing awareness to mental health and wellness in hockey.
Coaches are asked to chat with their teams about the importance of checking in on the mental health and wellness of each other. This important initiative is focused normalize mental health challenges to support young players to speak up about their personal challenges and support each other.
For more information: Support Mental Health - Buddy Check for Jesse
What’s up next for DEI Initiatives and Programs?
As we look towards the 2022-2023 season, we’re excited to begin working on small but mighty programs to support our key initiatives this year.
DEI Education for Coaching Staff
Craig Sherbaty, Director of Hockey for Our Association in partnership with the DEI Committee will be providing DEI Training for all Coaching staff in the 2022-2023 season.
This training covers the basics of DEI and focuses on minor hockey-specific scenarios to support coaches in building inclusive team culture and give coaches the tools to support players with diverse needs. We’re excited to run this training in the 2022-2023 season!
Harnessing the Power of Social Media
One thing we know we’re good at is sharing, celebrating and acknowledging DEI through our powerful social media tools. We will continue to focus on celebrating diverse holidays and celebrations that are important to Our Associations membership.
This year, we’d also like to use social media to begin sharing the stories of some of our incredibly diverse coaching staff and association volunteers. In 2022-2023 the DEI committee will be working on an inclusive and meaningful way to share the immense diversity of our membership primarily focused on gender and race/ethnicity.
Try out our inclusive hashtag when sharing hockey images: #allcoltsbelong
Recognizing Players for Being Inclusive!
Is there anything that beats watching kids support each other? This year the DEI Committee is working on an in-season recognition program for players. Coaches will be given something to award to a player who demonstrated inclusion through their on-ice or off-ice behaviour / actions every game.
Coaches will be encouraged to recognize the player and to award them a unique sticker or other item provided by the DEI Committee. More to come!
How else can we support inclusion and belonging? We want to hear from you!