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The 2005 and 2006 Archives: Sheldon's Book

2006 has become the year of freedom for Sheldon. On April 16, 2006, his autobiography, "Why I Didn't Say Anything" was released in Canada throgh Insomniac Press. The release in the USA for this book was slated for October 1, 2006.

As of this writing, we are very happy to report that Sheldon is currently studying for his drug counselling degree and spending time with his ten-year-old daughter, Ryan, whom he dedicated the book to.

Way to go, Sheldon... congatulations... you deserve it!

Order the book:

Insomniac Press _/\_ Amazon Canada _/\_ Amazon USA

Below are the archives for 2006.

Charity's In The Bank

Hockey Abuse Still A Danger: Parents, Experts

Kennedy Keynote Speaker At Coaching Seminar

Lessons From Kennedy Case Still Being Learned

Kennedy To Be Spokesperson For Respect In Sport Program

Super Seminar

Respect Unveiled in Winnipeg

Manitoba Introduces 'Respect' Training Program For Amateur Coaches

Former NHL player Pushes For Respect In Sports

Recent Book News

Sun, August 20, 2006

Charity's in the bank

UPDATED: 2006-08-20 03:40:05 MST

Classic tourney suits shelter to a tee


The Calgary Elks Lodge and Golf Club was the place to be recently as a dedicated group of Scotiabank volunteers hosted the 11th annual Scotiabank Charity Golf Classic.

Since its inception in 1996, more than $400,000 has been raised for the Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter. The shelter is an invaluable organization which supports domestic violence intervention, prevention and children's therapy services

And, thanks to the tireless efforts of the organizers, this year's tournament raised an impressive $50,000, bringing total funds raised through the tournaments to more than $450,000!

Notable participants in the tournament included: Honorary co-chair Sheldon Kennedy, a former NHL player, and author of Why I Didn't Say Anything: The Sheldon Kennedy Story; honorary co-chair Henry Burris, Calgary Stampeders starting quarterback; honorary co-chair and event emcee Mike Harris, skip for the Olympic silver medallist Canadian men's curling team; Joy Johnson-Green, acting executive director of the Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter; Scotiabank volunteer chair Bob Taylor; Scotiabank MacLeod Centre branch manager Bernie Coates; event day volunteer leader Ali Gillott; Scotiabank district vice-presidents John Kowalski, Steve Lukey and Sloane Muldoon Girardin; Scotiabank senior vice-president George Marlatte; Coldwell Banker's Susanita de Diego; Holden Insurance's Denis Holden; MCG West's Greg Art; Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter's Isabelle Martin and Jeralee Olson; Deborah Spence, Scotiabank's manager of public affairs, Western region; and Colleen Bessel, Scotiabank director of regional banking.

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Hockey abuse still a danger: parents, experts

Updated Thu. Aug. 24 2006 11:02 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

With former NHL agent and junior hockey league coach David Frost facing charges for sexually exploiting a group of teenagers, some are taking a closer look at the longstanding practice of sending promising young players away from home.

Sheldon Kennedy, who successfully sued his junior league coach Graham James for sexual assault, said the tradition is no longer necessary.

"I had to leave home at 14," Kennedy told CTV News. "I don't agree with it as much anymore. I think there are other avenues where the kids don't have to leave home at such an early age."

Hockey parents in small towns frequently send their children away with coaches, so they can play in larger communities to develop their skills and hopefully get noticed by talent scouts.

"In some of the smaller communities, they're going to have to go to a different city, a bigger city," said Roger Wolfe of Calgary Hockey Development.

But Kennedy, who played forward for the Calgary Flames, said that's no longer necessary because talent scouts are virtually everywhere.

"You can play in a little town where there are 120 people and you're going to get noticed. If you're a good enough player, you're going to get noticed," he said.

Kennedy added that coaches can abuse their power by convincing parents their child has potential to play in the NHL, while not having the best interests of the child at heart.

But he also said that while "we put a lot of emphasis on the coaches, I think we need to put a lot of emphasis back on the parents. We can't just automatically trust who's in charge of our kids and just pass them off ... There were rumours about Graham (James) long before I ever met him, and until I charged him he would still be doing what he was doing."

Gerry Hickey, of the Canadian Hockey Parents Association, said parents are sometimes bullied into staying quiet about potential abuse or threatening behaviour.

Hickey said when he tried to come forward with allegations that a coach was being verbally and physically abusive toward his 14-year-old son, he was intimidated into not taking his accusations to the police.

The coach continued in his role for four more years.

"If a parent speaks out, you're blackballed, so your kid doesn't make the team next year, or could be kicked off the team that year," Hickey told the Canadian Press.

"I've seen it all."

Hockey Canada has addressed the issue of potentially abusive coaches through a program called Speak Out, created in 1997 after Kennedy came forward that James had sexually assaulted him.

The program encourages players to report abuse, harassment and bullying.

"I think the Speak Out program has done huge things to raise awareness, and impact and affect the culture of the game," said Hockey Canada's Todd Jackson.

With a report by CTV's Sarah Galashan and files from The Canadian Press

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Sat, August 26, 2006

Kennedy keynote speaker at coaching seminar

Former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy will be the keynote presenter at Coaching Manitoba's 2006 Super Seminar for Coaches on Nov. 18.

Kennedy will make a presentation on respect in sport during the conference, which will be held at 17 Wing Winnipeg. Registration for the entire seminar is $50 and includes lunch. To just attend the Kennedy presentation is $5.

Other presentations in the seminar include Informed Decision Making/Drug Awareness, Dynamic Stretching and Flexibility for Sport, Body Image in Boys and Girls, Run, Jump and Throw, Making Ethical Decisions and Parenting in Sport.

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Lessons from Kennedy case still being learned
Frost charges a reminder to parents to remain vigilant

John MacKinnon
The Edmonton Journal

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

When then NHL player Sheldon Kennedy helped bring his ex-junior coach Graham James to justice as a sex offender 10 years ago, the sordid case was supposed to serve as a wake-up call for hockey in Canada.

Kennedy's revelations that his former coach forced him and an unnamed second victim to perform hundreds of sex acts with him over several years forced hockey authorities across the country to re-examine an often too-silent culture in which unscrupulous coaches can exert Faustian control over the lives of youngsters and their parents, all of them dreaming NHL dreams.

In response to that odious episode, Hockey Canada developed the Speak Out campaign to raise awareness about harassment, abuse and bullying.

As the manager of communications for Hockey Canada at that time, I was a member of the committee that produced Speak Out, a program that resonated powerfully with the hockey grass roots, met with some institutional inertia, was successfully launched and remains an integral component of training for coaches, support staff and administrators.

Now, a decade later, another wake-up call comes in the form of former junior coach and former NHL Players Association-certified agent David Frost, who was charged last week in a courtroom in Napanee, Ont., with 12 counts of sexual exploitation and one count of assault.

Frost has publicly said he is innocent of the charges, which have not been proven in court. Police contend the charges involve a string of incidents that allegedly happened between 1995 and 2001 involving seven teens then aged 14 to 16.

As parents prepare to support their boys and girls in the minor-hockey system this fall, it seems clear the lessons drawn from the Kennedy story remain crucial ones.

Lesson No.1 continues to be that parents must be proactively engaged in the sporting endeavours of their children.

"I think it's important that all the adults that are around the kids have a role," said Todd Jackson, Hockey Canada's senior manager for safety and

insurance. "I mean the coaches, the administrators, the parents, the families, everybody who is around the kids has a responsibility to ensure (they) have safe environments."

Lesson No. 2 must be that the predators of this world often do not announce themselves by any obvious resemblance to the devil.

"I think there's a tendency among people in general to be wary of strangers," said Dr. Liam Ennis, an Edmonton-based psychologist with the Forensic Behavioural Science Group. "If you're worried about someone being sexually molested, we tend to think about some stranger on a bus wearing a trench-coat.

"In fact, the majority of the time, the people that are committing these offences are known to the families and the predator will very often engage in some sort of grooming not just of the victim, but of the victim's family to earn their trust, as well."

Ennis warns that parents should not give someone carte blanche "just because they are in a position of authority like a coach, teacher or priest. Those are the kinds of positions that a predator would like to be in." He adds that parents should keep the lines of communication open with their kids: "Ask questions, know where they're at, let them know they can actually talk to you if something untoward is going on in the locker-room."

He also suggests that parents who themselves have been seduced by the NHL dream might make their child more vulnerable to a predatory coach.

"If their priorities are wrong and they're more focused on the coach as a means to an end or the outcome of the kid's athletic ability as opposed to their safety in the moment and their overall development, then ... that's clearly not minding the fort, in a sense," Ennis said.

Even when people do seem to be vigilant -- and many warnings were issued by administrators and teammates in Kennedy's case -- it takes rare courage for a kid to take on his coach in the macho, high-testosterone, hyper-conformist world of hockey.

"If this (sexual abuse) happened to you at the age of 13 or 14 or 15, what are the odds that you're actually going to blow the whistle on that?" Ennis said. "Because now you're gay or now, as a male victim, I think there's some implicit guilt and responsibility that goes along with that.

"Guys are viewing their coach as their ticket to the big leagues. They're not going to burn that bridge."

Kennedy was a married man and a pro hockey player when, against those odds, he summoned the courage to burn the coach who nearly ruined his life. A decade later, prudent parents would do well to arm their children -- and themselves -- with the lessons Kennedy's story teaches.

Check out my blog at: www.edmontonjournal.com


© The Edmonton Journal 2006

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Sheldon Kennedy to be spokesperson for RiS Program, 9/26/06 - Winnipeg Sun

The Manitoba government in partnership with Sport Manitoba plans to launch an online, provincewide program for all coaches to help ensure sports are positive and safe for Manitoba children and youth, Culture, Tourism and Heritage Minister Eric Robinson, minister responsible for sport, announced today.

Former NHL hockey player and author Sheldon Kennedy will be the honourary spokesperson for the Respect in Sport program.

As a delivery partner of the Canadian Red Cross - RespectED curriculum, Respect in Sport provides an Internet-based training tool that promotes respect, helps to prevent abuse and creates a simple process to promote a safe haven for children and young adults. Through this education, coaches are better equipped to help youth build self-esteem, learn the value of participating in sport, experience the thrill of participation and still have fun.

The minister noted that with Respect in Sport, Manitoba has become the first province in Canada to take this proactive step in making sport a safer, more respectful environment for all participants.

The program is expected to be available to coaches in Manitoba in November.

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Winnipeg Sun - Super Seminar - 11/17/06

SUPER SEMINAR: Former NHLer Sheldon Kennedy will serve as the keynote presenter for the Coaching Manitoba 2006 Super Seminar for Coaches, tomorrow at 17 Wing - Winnipeg.

Speaking on respect in sport, Kennedy will review excerpts from his book Sheldon Kennedy -- Why I Didn't Say Anything, as well as discuss his recent participation in Geneva with the International Olympic Committee on sexual abuse and harassment in sport.

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Respect unveiled in 'Peg

National program promotes positive sports environment
By GLEN DAWKINS -- Winnipeg Sun

When former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy was a junior hockey player, he was subjected to long-term abuse by his coach Graham James. It was his testimony against James that helped end the silence about the physical and sexual abuse of athletes.

If a program like the Respect in Sport had been around back then, his experience might have been quite different.

"I believe in my case there were a lot of bystanders," said Kennedy, the spokesperson for the Respect in Sport program which was unveiled yesterday at a press conference at Sport Manitoba. "A lot of people knew what was going on and didn't know what they could do or just put the blinders on.

"Our goal is not to focus on the 1% of trouble makers. Our goal is to empower the 99% of good people to be better and give them the tools to recognize these behaviours and do something about it."

Manitoba is the first province in Canada to implement the program to help ensure a safe and positive sport environment for all participants. Coaches across the province will be required to take the program.

"We know it's not going to change overnight but it's not a one-time program," said Kennedy. "It's going to be embedded into the sport culture at all levels and over time this is going to change."

Respect in Sport is an on-line training course to assist coaches in identifying and dealing with issues of abuse, neglect, harassment and bullying. It is designed to complement current coaching certification requirements.

The program was run as a pilot project in Manitoba with soccer and artistic gymnastics since being introduced two years ago. This season, Hockey Manitoba has made the program a requirement by replacing Hockey Canada's Speak Out program.

"I think you have to look in the mirror," said South End United Girls Division 7 team assistant coach Colin Hocking, who was involved in the pilot project. "It makes everybody think twice and say, 'Maybe I can do this better.' "

The three-hour course can be taken at the coach's leisure, all at once or in separate half-hour modules. Coaches will be required to complete the course by December 2007.

"We feel very proud that we are piloting it here in Manitoba and we're the first in the country," said Sport Manitoba President and CEO Jeff Hnatiuk. "We're dealing with a very important issue."

There is no cost to the coach and the program will provide for recertification after the third and fifth year. Sport Manitoba and the provincial sport organizations will monitor the participation of the coaches.

In his case, Hocking said the program helped him identify the signs of harassment and abuse.

Much of the content deals with the attitudes of coaches and how they can affect their athletes.

"Having looked at it personally and having been a coach, you look at those things and say, 'I may have come across that way as a coach,' " said Hnatiuk. "You don't realize that it may have had that kind of an impact on the kids. It made me change my thinking about some of the ways that I approached things."

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Manitoba introduces 'respect' training program for amateur coaches
Last Updated: Thursday, November 30, 2006 | 2:41 PM CT
CBC News

Manitoba became the first province Thursday to implement a training program that will have coaches learn to identify and deal with harassment and abuse in amateur sport.

The Respect in Sport program is an internet-based training course offered free of charge to coaches in all sports. The three-hour-long program, which is done on coaches' own time, will help them identify and cope with issues like neglect, harassment, abuse and bullying.

Hockey Manitoba, the organization that oversees amateur hockey in the province, has already made the program a requirement for its coaches this season.

Provincial sports officials say over the next year, all other sports disciplines will adopt the training, which will complement their existing coaching certification requirements.

"We show them the wrong way and we show them the right way, and our goal is to really just empower coaches to be better," said Sheldon Kennedy, a former NHL player and spokesman for the Respect in Sport program, on Thursday.

"Give them the tools to understand what they can and can't do."

Kennedy, a native of Brandon, had suffered from sexual abuse from a coach while playing junior hockey in Saskatchewan. He said the Respect in Sport program will focus on the positive values of sports and coaching.

"I feel that a lot of programs in the past have been a stick. They've been created for the one per cent of people that have been causing trouble, and the 99 per cent of people that want to do well have to take it," Kennedy said Thursday.

"So our focus is to empower the 99 per cent to be better, and hopefully the rest will follow."

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Former NHL player pushes for respect in sports

POSTED AT 6:23 PM Monday, December 18

Former NHL player, Sheldon Kennedy, shocked a lot of people when he stood up and went public about years of abuse by his old hockey coach, Graham James.

Now Kennedy is standing up again, this time to bullies.

He's part of a team behind an online anti-abuse training program for sports.

Intimidation and bullying can be a stark reality for athletes of all ages.

"I think issues hit home for a lot of people so we have to eliminate that fear and make this program inviting to get people to want to learn," says Kennedy.

Kennedy and his business partner, Wayne McNeil, have teamed up to create Respect in Sports.

It is a series of online programs that help coaches identify and prevent physical and emotional abuse.

"It's not sport-specific, it's every sport across the board," says McNeil, "it's unique because it's not just for coaches, we're also moving on to parents, refs, and officials."

At a cost of just seven dollars a person, the online tool is much cheaper than classroom-based training programs used by some sport organizations like Hockey Canada.

With technology on their side, Kennedy and McNeil say their program has the potential to reach coaches and athletes across the country.

"It's no different than from drinking and driving campaign or wearing seatbelts campaign," he says, "it needs to be a consistent and ongoing message for change to happen in society."

Respect in sport has already made a national impact. The Canadian Gymnastics Federation is one of the first national sports organizations to make the online training program mandatory for all of its coaches.

"Our initial intent was to just make people more well-rounded," says Scott Hayes of Alberta Gymnastics, "to give them the tools and necessities in order to deal with this kind of stuff."

Eight hundred gymnastic coaches in Alberta have been trained so far with another 1,100 being trained across the country.

It's a start for now but McNeil and Kennedy have set their goals high. They hope to create a new Canadian standard by having every coach in the country complete the online program by 2010.

Sport Manitoba has also decided to make the Respect in Sport program mandatory for all coaches in that province.

For more information on the anti-abuse program, visit the website.


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Book News

A recent book release, Sheldon Kennedy's "Why I Didn't Say Anything," is a must-read for hockey-playing teenagers, and probably for all teenagers. Kennedy played eight seasons in the NHL, but is best known for the courageous stand he took in charging his former Canadian junior hockey coach Graham James with sexual assault. The book details Kennedy's hard road to redemption, and reading it gives teenagers an important weapon against future abuse. Without question, knowledge is power where this difficult topic is concerned.

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