"But Dad, I want to have fun!"
December 24, 2003
Story by: Suzannah
The final instalment in a three-part
series about rink rage, minor-league hockey
and the pressure on child athletes, this
article explores "Relax, It's Just
a Game," a recent public-service announcement
campaign launched by USA Hockey and Hockey
They finally made good on their promise.
After years of half-hearted attempts, contract
models with unruly parents and doing everything
but policing the game themselves, officials
at the highest level of minor-league hockey
in both Canada and the US have decided that
enough is enough.
As recently as last week, a new ad campaign
was being launched nation-wide, as well
as in parts of the United States, in order
to combat the problem of parental pressure
on young hockey players. The ads emphasize
the need for "good, clean fun"
and espouse the values that many feel minor-league
hockey has lost: that is, when it's no longer
just a game, how can you expect a kid to
feel comfortable playing, or even worse,
to avoid patterning themselves after some
of the alarming behaviours we see in hockey
parents every so often?
Launched on November 13th of this year,
the series of public-service announcements
(PSAs) is scheduled to be played out across
hockey arenas, schools and television sets
across this great continent of ours, in
order to cast light on a topic that, in
the words of CHA President Bob Nicholson,
is often "swept under the rug."
According to Hockey Hall of Famer Lanny
McDonald, "The ads are outstanding,
and I feel that they get the point across
that some adults involved in minor hockey
need to just relax, and let the kids be
kids and have fun playing the game."
And being that McDonald is an amateur hockey
coach and parent himself, he may well appreciate
this initiative in his own household as
The series of print ads and media kits
will be available by request from Hockey
Canada's website. In addition to the promotion
and distribution of the new PSAs, Hockey
Canada, through the Chevrolet Safe &
Fun Hockey Program, has a seminar kit entitled
"A Parent's Approach," available
free of charge to any Minor Hockey Association
For the 2003-2004 season, each Minor Hockey
Association in Canada has the opportunity
to conduct its own parent clinic. These
associations can do so by obtaining their
Chevrolet Safe & Fun Hockey "A
Parent's Approach" seminar kit from
their Branch Office, Hockey Canada or directly
from a Chevrolet dealership.
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