LETHBRIDGE: The "Respect in Sport Parent Program" has proven to be a massive success for the Lethbridge Minor Hockey Association.
The mandatory program was brought in for the first time at the start of the current hockey season, to teach parents how to properly deal with coaches and officials when they have an issue. The program is taken online and only goes for about an hour.
Lethbridge Minor Hockey GM Keith Hitchcock explained that after just one season, the discipline coordinator for our zone noted that verbal abuse of officials dropped over 60-per cent.
Hitchcock also noted that most parents took the program right away and were very happy with what they learned from it. He even stated that a number of parents told him that in addition to improving how they deal with officials, it also helped them with their kids and showing more support.
Making the first year even more impressive, was just how well it was picked up. Hitchcock explained that Hockey Alberta says Lethbridge had the best start-up of all the centres using the program this year.
There were a few bumps along the way, however Hitchcock says they really weren't too bad. He explained that a small number of parents took a long time getting on the program, forcing the Association to keep their kids from playing. Hitchcock went on to say that a small number of children missed a very short period of the season because of it.
Hockey Alberta is also now considering making the "Respect in Sport Parent Program" mandatory right across the province.
Regardless of their decision, Hitchcock says that the program is here to stay in Lethbridge, and those parents who haven't taken the program yet will need to, before their kids can play in the Lethbridge Minor Hockey Association.
To find out more about taking the "Respect in Sport Parent Program", you can call the Lethbridge Minor Hockey Association at 403-320-0745 or email them firstname.lastname@example.org.