Improving on the Public’s Attitudes and Perceptions
As previously mentioned, the perception of hockey as an increasingly violent sport in the public’s eye is a deepening problem. Hockey is portrayed as a violent sport based primarily on the body contact aspect and related injuries. With an increase to player concussions and enhanced 24 hour sports coverage it only magnifies the violent perception and issue within our game.
Governing hockey bodies, at all levels, have to do a lot more to ensure the game grows with a special emphasis on making the game safer especially at the lower levels and educating parents on the benefits of proper protective equipment when worn properly such as properly securing the chin strap on helmets in warm ups and games. Also, a zero tolerance for head shots and for fighting at all levels will enhance the safety and overall perception of the game in the long run.
Increase Corporate Involvement / Sponsorships
More Canadian corporations need to step up and create sponsorship programs to help grow the game, such as subsidizing and funding registrations and equipment for players, as well as help with building more recreational facilities. More initiatives like Comrie’s Sports Equipment Bank need to be created across Canada to provide all kids with the opportunity to play.
Improve on Family Tax Credits
The federal government needs to enhance the tax credit system for participating in sports especially hockey to encourage and reward increased participation for kids and adults. As mentioned earlier, with both kids and adults more active in our society, it will create better health, fitness and overall wellness and reduce billions of dollars on our heath care systems in the decades ahead.
Create a Hockey Legacy Fund / Command Centre
Canada is a world leader with over 2,600 arenas nation wide. We are truly blessed to have so many facilities. Calgary alone has over 60 arenas. However, many arenas across the country are getting old and badly need capital improvements. A national capital expenditure program to help old arena upgrades and build new arenas where the demand warrants is an important component to our future hockey infrastructure.
Creation of a 1 – 800 hockey call centre to accommodate and assist individuals and minor hockey associations across the country that need help to keep playing or hockey going in their area.
This article just scratches the ice surface. It’s Tucker Hockey’s way of expressing our views for the betterment of the game. A very detailed and systemic investigation by the governing bodies concerning the issues confronting minor hockey is necessary to change direction, and to strengthen the future welfare and betterment of hockey in Canada. One of Hockey Canada’s mandates is to increase hockey participation in the years ahead. This will require “thinking and stepping outside the box”. Back in July of 2014, Hockey Canada named Tom Renney the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. Tom is definitely the right man for the job! Under his vision and leadership, Hockey Canada will be taken to another level. If there’s anyone in our country that has the diversified hockey background, respect at all levels, a strong core value base, dynamic people skills and forward / innovative thinking…it is Tom Renney. Tom, my personal belief is that all children should have the opportunity to play organized hockey – the nation’s greatest sport. Sincere best wishes with your future Hockey Canada endeavours!
Now tell us your views on how we can improve the numbers.