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Thunder Bay coach hopes Hockey Canada scandal will lead to positive changes on the ice

A Thunder Bay hockey coach says he hopes some positive changes will come out of the Hockey Canada scandal.

The group, which is the nationwide governing physique for the sport of hockey in Canada, is below hearth for allegations of sexual assault by its gamers, and paying out thousands and thousands of {dollars} in settlements to 21 sexual assault complainants courting again to 1989.

In October, Hockey Canada introduced its total board of administrators, and CEO Scott Smith, have been stepping down.

“When we’re on the ice, and we’re teaching our gamers and our youngsters, we have a tendency to take a chance when there’s a main error or an issue to establish it as a teachable moment, and to say let’s take this as a chance to change, to develop, to study and to adapt,” Sutherland stated throughout a current interview on CBC Thunder Bay’s Superior Morning.

“I actually did not actually see anyone saying that it is a good alternative for us as leaders, as I stated, to step up and to do the issues that we speak about with our gamers.”

Sutherland stated he believes a “vital change” in governance is required at Hockey Canada.

Superior Morning9:44Malcolm Sutherland: Hockey Canada

As Hockey Canada embarks on what could possibly be a vital time in its historical past, some are talking out about what they need to see shifting ahead. Hear from a Thunder Bay coach and sport advocate.

“By that I imply we now have to actually change the means that we’re main our sport on the ice,” he stated. “Behind the bench, we have a tendency to transfer in direction of what’s known as athlete-centred management, and I feel that we’d like to try this as properly in the boardrooms and in our policymaking round the sport.”

“Everything we must always do needs to be centered on the athlete,” Sutherland stated. “We needs to be attempting to serve them, and we’d like to create applications and buildings which can be unambiguous, clear, in order that the different stakeholders in the sports activities, the mother and father, the guardians, the directors know precisely the place cash goes, how it’s being spent, in order that we are able to create these sturdy administration buildings for our recreation.”

The difficulty of supporting athletes was additionally raised by Thunder Bay’s Katie Weatherston, who gained a gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics as a part of the Canadian nationwide ladies’s hockey staff.

Katie Weatherston stated she would give again her Olympic gold medal if it means she might have her well being again. (Jean-Francois Benoit/CBC News)

In Weatherston’s case, she suffered accidents at Team Canada coaching camps.

“I believed for certain that is one thing that ought to have went in direction of paying my medical payments,” she stated of the Hockey Canada settlement funds. “Then I discover out that they paid for the cowl up [of] these scandals.

“These issues did not occur on the ice, they did not occur at Team Canada camp,” Weatherston stated. “It’s mind-boggling how they’ve handled these items.”

Weatherston stated her first harm got here throughout a motorcycle race along with her staff in 2005.

“I bought reduce off and I went head first into the pavement and I went into shock,” she stated. “They had to name an ambulance. I misplaced my three entrance tooth at the moment. I do keep in mind they have been a little, I’d say, aggravated or upset as a result of we did not have unintentional dentals on the feminine aspect, as a result of we wore hockey cages.

“They had to pay out of pocket for that declare, round $6,000.”

Then, the subsequent 12 months, Weatherston was hit from behind throughout a coaching camp, and went into the boards head-first.

“In between intervals … I went over to the to the Team Canada physician, and I stated ‘possibly you need to test me out,'” Weatherston stated. “She put me again in the recreation, and that that price me.”

“I’ve had post-concussion, a traumatic mind harm for 16 years now and I’ve been struggling,” Weatherston stated. “Anyone who has submit concussion is aware of you get persistent complications. It’s laborious typically to get off the bed. Low vitality, a debilitating headache.”

Weatherston stated she was additionally informed there was a $10,000 restrict on what Hockey Canada would pay out for insurance coverage claims.

“iIt was a difficult time for me and, I simply felt like I did not actually have the help,” she stated. “And then if you discover out, oh, they actually had the funds for you, they only selected to cowl up scandals as a substitute. It was extraordinarily disappointing.”

Weatherston stated she desires to see change in Hockey Canada management.

Superior Morning9:31Katie Weatherston: Hockey Canada Reckoning

Katie Weatherston has had so much to say these days. The Olympic Gold medalist from Thunder Bay has been sharing her story of feeling unsupported by Hockey Canada, as she handled well being challenges. Now, as that group faces a reckoning over its dealing with of sexual assault claims, we discuss to Weatherston about the way forward for her sport.

“I wanna see range on the board, and variety of the workers at Hockey Canada,” she stated. “I need these folks held accountable who have been in cost … when these payouts have been made.”

Sutherland stated different changes needs to be made, as properly, resembling decreasing the price of taking part in hockey.

“I feel ethics, values and extra of a holistic profit in sport is required,” he stated. “I feel we now have to actually take a look at how will we handle the boundaries? How will we get folks which can be marginalized in the recreation, these that may’t afford it, people who aren’t privileged?”

“How will we cut back the whole price? Like hockey is a really costly recreation and [that’s] one in all the issues that drives folks away from the recreation.”

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