Muskoka Parry Sound Minor Hockey League Associations are ALL looking to adopt the new guidelines set down by the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) this week regarding the Respect in Sport initiative. The MPS League, following this weeks OMHA announcement that the “Respect in Sport program” is expected to be fully integrated for the 2014-15 hockey season, has unanimously agreed to implement it in each of their Associations.
Steven Bowman President of the MPS League said “ Our league has already taken steps to improve the safety and well being of the players , officials and volunteers as well as the game for a number of years. The League, 2 years ago implemented the “Player Accountability” process for our Associations so now adopting the Respect in Sport platform we will see a compliment to help achieve our goal of involving everyone in the proper support of our great game. Players want to play their best. Referee’s want to call a fair game and volunteers want to help but not at the personal peril or abuse. It is a smart social step asking a family to be involved in the big picture and should help with personal reinforcement of proper behavior. A win, win , win all around.”
The program is being introduced as an Educational piece supporting the traditional values of Team sports. Under the new OMHA guidelines, one parent or guardian of each player registered in minor hockey in the OMHA will be required to complete the Respect in Sport-Parent Program as a condition of participation. The Program is geared to point out the obvious that sports are to be FUN and enjoyed by the players demonstrating how quickly that can be lost when common respect is missing. “Anyone truly interested in the benefits of Team sports will right away see the value of this program”. Historically OMHA courses have been provided in a classroom setting but The OMHA has made this much easier for parents to learn by way of an online course. A nominal $12 fee is required to cover the cost, “A small price to pay to enjoy the game in an atmosphere of respect and appreciation” said Bowman. The MPS Associations are giving local parents lots of warning of the new Respect guidelines, in advance of their 2014 registration sessions. Current OMHA Team rosters will clarify who has and who has not yet completed this requirement and if you are not registered to have taken the respect course, the OMHA certification won’t be approved and the child won’t be allowed to play. The program is designed for ALL stakeholders of the game with everyone, team/league officials and at least one parent or guardian of each registered player, required to participate.
The Respect in Sport program is an online certification program, designed to protect youth as well as enhance the Ontario Minor Hockey Association’s mandate of providing a safe and fun environment for all participants.
For more information on the Respect in Sport program, visit www.omha.net. Full instructions for taking the course will be provided at the time of registration.