July 7, 2022 /3BL Media/ - AEG’s LA Kings hosted a virtual inclusive coaching workshop for 15 of its affiliated youth hockey partners, including the Jr. Kings Program, Jr. Reign Program and the High School Hockey League on June 29, 2022.
Led by a representative from the You Can Play Project, a non-profit that works to ensure the safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ+ athletes, coaches and fans. The training taught coaches how to ensure the safety and inclusion of players who participate on their teams and encouraged them to focus on a player’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit as opposed to their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
“As leaders in sports, we must be proactive, thoughtful and intentional to further diversify and enhance the youth hockey community,” said Jennifer Pope, SVP Community Relations and Hockey Development. “Youth sports should provide children of all background, ages and abilities the opportunity to participate. Research shows that when kids are engaged in sports they are less likely to have depression and perform better in school. When a child feels accepted, understood and safe, he or she can truly thrive on a team and perform at their best.”
The 90-minute program introduced the youth coaches to such topics as the importance of visibility, participation vs. performance, inclusive outreach and recruitment, and embracing inclusive team values in season and out of season. The training also incorporated several breakout sessions for the coaches to participate in role play exercises that allowed them to practice implementing the lessons learned from the workshop. For more information about You Can Play Project, click here.