To the editor:
To all the hockey people out there:
I have become disheartened by what I see happening in our hockey rinks during our children’s league games.
As a society, we are desperately trying to eliminate bullying from our school system and our children’s lives. As parents, we want to protect our children from this harmful behaviour, but I would argue that bullying is happening in the hockey rink at the parental level.
Why do some parents think it is OK to act in this manner—the exact behaviour that we are trying to thwart?
I do not want to say all parents act badly, but the ones that do, damage our hockey reputation. We are Canadians—we love hockey—so why can we not enjoy the games at the minor hockey level for what they are—the good and the bad, and the excitement in between.
Not all children are born natural hockey players, but all have the right to play. Some excel and some stay in the middle or at the bottom of the skill level. Yet, they all want to play and have fun. They love being part of a hockey team, but they do not need to be subjected to the negative comments and bullying tactics of parents up in the stands. They need to hear constant encouragement and celebrations for both the wins and losses. It is not always about the win. Yet, the win can become the parental priority.
I hear parents yell at the children, groan in frustration as mistakes are made, ask coaches to limit ice time of more novice players, insult the referees, over-celebrate wins with noise makers, and this list could go on and on and on.
My wish is that this stops before parents lose their rights to attend their children’s games. How sad it will be to simply drop your child off at the rink for his/her game, then have to drive away.
Stop the hockey bullying.
Shannon Desilets, Kelowna