Calgary– Hockey Canada has announced that beginning this week, all national team players, coaches and support staff involved in the 2020-21 season will participate in mandatory virtual diversity and inclusion seminars before proceeding with virtual summer camps.
Players and staff will be required to register for one of four sessions, which run from July 13-16, and are mandatory for all personnel from Hockey Canada’s national teams, including the men’s under-17, under-18 and under-20 teams, women’s under-18, development and senior teams, as well as Canada’s National Para Hockey Team.
As an organization that has acknowledged it needs to do more, Hockey Canada remains committed to continuing to listen and learn, and being open to change in an effort to take action around diversity. The virtual diversity and inclusion training is another step Hockey Canada is taking to be leaders in equality in sport and part of the solution in regards to discrimination of any kind.
“Mandatory diversity and inclusion seminars for Hockey Canada’s national teams are a critical first step in making the hockey community more enjoyable, inclusive and safe for all those who wish to participate,” said Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams for Hockey Canada. “As our program delivery evolves, we will continue to determine the most appropriate ways to include mandatory sessions on various topics. We believe these diversity and inclusion seminars will be valuable for all players and staff, and we look forward to educating ourselves on these important issues.”
The seminars will be delivered by Tina Varughese, a professional speaker and trainer specializing in diversity and inclusion, and will have a specific focus on unconscious bias.
Varughese is an Indo-Canadian of first-generation East Indian parents who currently resides in Calgary, and has worked extensively with the Province of Alberta’s immigration office. She was named one of Canada’s Top 10 Notable Speakers by Ignite Magazine and is the president of t Works Inc., a company that specializes in cross-cultural communication and work-life balance seminars, and provides customized cultural diversity training to the public and private sectors.
“Hockey Canada is fortunate to have Tina Varughese deliver four important, impactful presentations on unconscious bias to approximately 400 players, coaches and support staff as part of our summer camp program delivery,” said Tom Renney, chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “Tina will be an incredible resource for all participants, and we believe our teams and athletes will benefit greatly from her knowledge and expertise as we continue to educate our players and develop world-class individuals.”