Posts in Sheldon Kennedy

Sheldon Kennedy Hands Child Advocacy Centre Back To The Community

December 11th, 2018 Press Releases, Sheldon Kennedy




Respect Group is proud of the work Sheldon Kennedy has done for the community of Calgary and beyond. We fully support his decision to hand the Calgary Child Advocacy Centre back to the community.


Please read below for Sheldon’s statement.



For Release December 11, 2018 at 12 PM MST


Sheldon Kennedy hands Child Advocacy Centre back to the Community


I write this with some sadness, a great sense of relief and, with no regrets. I have given it my all.


For the last 23 years I have made myself personally accessible and available to advocate and help those in need of telling their stories of abuse. I have spoken, one on one with thousands of victims, engaged in countless media interviews, keynote speeches, fundraisers, lobbied governments to change legislation and even in-line skated across Canada to raise awareness. It has been a daunting and all-consuming commitment.


From first introducing the idea of a Child Advocacy Centre to our Chief of Police in 2010, to opening the Calgary Child Advocacy Centre in 2012 and having it renamed the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre in 2013, I further stepped up that important work through my volunteer commitment to the SKCAC. I now understand that my name on the building really meant a personal responsibility for the day to day practice, the wellness of our front-line workers, the satisfaction of our donors and volunteers and the proper treatment of the victims we serve. This has been a very rewarding 8 years of my life and, at the same time, it has taken its toll.


For the past several months I have had ongoing and emotional conversations with my family and close friends. They have been a great support and, through this process, I have decided to remove my name from the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre.


I always preach to others that, first and foremost, they need to take care of their own mental health and find balance in their lives. I now need to take my own advice.


I need to refocus my efforts on my work at Respect Group, the company I co-founded, that educates those involved in sport, schools and the workplace on the prevention of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination. We have trained over 1.2 million Canadians thus far but there is much more to be done including our involvement in the International Safe Sport movement. And, most importantly, I want to give my full attention and love to my family.  My daughter Ryan, who is now in University, my partner Jen and our five month old son, Lochlin.  I want to be present and enjoy being the best dad and partner I can possibly be.


I want to acknowledge all of the front line workers that have or continue to work at the Calgary Child Advocacy Centre.  You are my heroes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And to each of the Agencies who took the risk of working together, you have demonstrated that integrated practice is possible and creates better outcomes for victims. You have also set the standard for your colleagues across the province working in the other regional Child Advocacy Centres.


I want to thank the media for your incredible support. You were always there to help tell my story and leverage the message to educate Canadians and offer solutions.  You have allowed us to change the conversation on these issues forever.


I want to thank every corporation, individual and event that gave so generously to the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre.  You have all made a significant difference with your kind gifts. I know you will continue to support the Calgary Child Advocacy Centre.


To those who have served on the Board, the SKCAC core staff and volunteers, thank you for your passion and dedication.


To Prime Minister Stephen Harper, The Honourable Rona Ambrose and The Honourable Peter MacKay: thank you for understanding the importance of Child Advocacy Centres, the impact of early childhood trauma and for your leadership in creating the Victims Bill of Rights. I am honoured to have been able to work with each of you. Thank you for helping us elevate the conversation to a level not previously seen.


To the thousands of victims we have served: be proud that you have found your voice, stay strong and make healing your focus. You continue to inspire me.


To those victims who still may not have come forward: you will always have a safe place to go and be heard at the Calgary Child Advocacy Centre.


Today, I am healthy and excited about my next chapter. I will continue the crusade, but with greater balance. I am also comforted to know that the Calgary Child Advocacy Centre and our community are ready to carry the torch. It has become clear that I will not be able to achieve the critical balance I need in my life without taking my name off the Centre. Furthermore, our community will never fully own the issues with my name still on it. The time has come and the future is bright.





Sheldon Kennedy, CM, AOE, OM








Sheldon Kennedy will not be making any further comments.

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Respect Group was incorporated on April 5th, 2004 by co-founders, Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil, to pursue their common passion: the prevention of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD). Offering certification programs for Community/Sport Organizations (Respect in Sport), Schools and the Workplace, Respect Group has certified over 1,200,000 Canadians.


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Sheldon Kennedy to receive Courage Award

October 25th, 2018 Sheldon Kennedy

» The Brandon Sun – By: Uncredited
Posted: 10/24/2018 3:00 AM |

Former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy will be in Brandon on Thursday to receive an award from Assiniboine Community College.

Kennedy will be accepting the Assiniboine Courage Award. The award was created by Assiniboine to celebrate people who demonstrate courage in their business, community, professional or personal life, a media release from the institution said.

Kennedy is an advocate for victims of abuse both in Canada and around the world.

The former hockey star was sexually abused by his coach, Graham James.

The documentary “Swift Current” will also be played in Brandon during his time in the city. It documents his journey from a young hockey player, when he was sexually abused by James. It goes on to talk about the work he is doing all over to help victims of abuse.

Kennedy will attend the by invitation-only film screening at Landmark Cinemas in Brandon on Thursday.

During his time in the NHL, Kennedy played for the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins and the Calgary Flames.


Former NHLer, sex abuse survivor Sheldon Kennedy applauds new rule that makes reporting abuse in sports a priority

July 4th, 2018 General News, Respect in Sport, Sheldon Kennedy
The Star

CALGARY—Former NHL hockey player and sex abuse survivor Sheldon Kennedy says that a recent federal announcement requiring sports bodies to report and investigate abuse allegations is a constructive step toward child and youth safety.

On June 19, sport minister Kirsty Duncan announced the new requirement. National sports bodies that receive federal money “must immediately disclose any incident of abuse, discrimination or harassment to the Minister of Sport,” she said……

…Hockey Calgary executive director Kevin Kobelka is also supportive of the announcement.

The minor hockey association he helps manage covers male and female hockey players from the Timbits age group (four and five years old) up to junior-B hockey (16 to 21 years old).

“(We) were the first organization to implement Respect in Sport since 2010,” he said. “Hockey Alberta followed suit and mandated its training after.”

The training program is part of a larger group co-founded by Kennedy called Respect Group Inc. Its goal is to empower people in sports to recognize and prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination.

The Calgary hockey association requires all coaches to take Respect in Sport’s training program and, starting this year, to get recertified every four years Kobelka said. MORE

Mark My Words — Allegiance shifts back to the Swift Current Broncos

May 22nd, 2018 Sheldon Kennedy, Swift Current

Mark My Words — Allegiance shifts back to the Swift Current Broncos

The Brandon Sun – By: Mark Frison
Posted: 05/18/2018 3:00 AM |

This week we all cheer for the blue and green

Let’s go, Broncos! Let’s go, Broncos!

This is something I haven’t chanted in more than eight years.

From 2005 to 2010, I had the tremendous pleasure of living in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. The smallest community I’ve ever lived in, “Speedy Creek” was vibrant, egalitarian and artsy — not really how most people think of the place.

Admittedly, when I was moving to Saskatchewan in 2004 from Nova Scotia, I was not fluent with all of the cities in Land of the Living Skies. I knew not of Humboldt, Kindersley, or even Yorkton — the fifth largest city in the province.

I did know about Swift Current. Because of the Swift Current Broncos. Because of the 1986 bus crash. Because of Graham James. Swift Current was long the smallest community in the country with a major junior hockey franchise. It was a storied one at that captured the Memorial Cup in 1989.

Moving to a town of 15,000 people, our family decided to buy season tickets for the Broncos. What else would there be to do in such a small town? Well, lots. In fact, that first year, we only made it to four games out of 36. Broncos games were great, but I underestimated the rest of the scene in Swift, the demands of becoming a college president at age 34 and the responsibilities associated with a newborn. OK, so I may have been naive on many fronts.

When I came to Assiniboine in June 2010, one of the first questions I was asked by a journalist was “So, are you going to give the Wheat Kings a fair shake?” When that is the third question the media ask you about a new job, you know you are coming to a hockey town.

I indicated I would be an immediate Wheat Kings fan. I was and I never looked back. I did, of course, indicate that the Riders were non-negotiable. But that’s a column for a different day. #GoRiders!

Nevertheless, this week I will find myself cheering on the Broncos with renewed enthusiasm as they represent the WHL in the Memorial Cup. It is not solely attributed to my affection for Swift Current or that I was a four-year season ticket holder (even if I had a poor attendance record).

The bus crash a few weeks ago, killing 16 team members of the Humboldt Broncos, has touched us all. As saddened as I am by that tragedy, I am constantly uplifted by the compassion I have witnessed across Manitoba communities for the players, families and communities affected by this event.

The Humboldt Broncos were, of course, formed from a partnership with the Swift Current Broncos, which included supplying jerseys, and the name of the team was set

It is difficult not to be reminded and draw parallels to the Swift Current Broncos bus crash of 1986. When I was living in Swift Current in 2006 we marked the 20-year anniversary of tragic events there. Many in the community lamented that we had not, up until that point, properly marked or dealt with the events during those 20 years.

We know that one important reason was the influence of then-Broncos head coach Graham James. He refused to let players receive counselling for fear that his unthinkable acts of abuse might be exposed.

Fortunately, Graham James was eventually exposed. Among those who had the courage to expose him was Elkhorn’s own Sheldon Kennedy. Sheldon has been a tireless advocate for victims, a champion for a new era in sports and a general inspiration to those who have suffered hardships and found the strength to pick themselves up and channel that experience in the service of others.

Those are among the reasons I’m thrilled that Assiniboine is recognizing the Brandon-born hockey star and advocate with our second annual Courage Award this October. The Courage Award was created by the college to celebrate leadership – with the hallmark of leadership being courage.

We wanted to be able to amplify for Manitobans the great courage we see all around us in its many forms. Last year, we recognized Don Penny, whose business acumen and appetite for risk led to the growth of a Westman-based accounting firm into the fifth largest firm in Canada — and growing. This year Don and Grand Chief Sheila North, a treasured Assiniboine alumna, will help us recognize and thank Sheldon for his efforts.

As a result of the events in Saskatchewan, we decided to delay announcing that Sheldon was our second recipient. Sheldon was a passenger on that Swift Current Broncos bus crash in 1986. In keeping with his character, he was quick to be on the scene comforting victims after this year’s bus crash. Sheldon would not have wanted recognition of him to distract from where the focus was needed at that moment.

So, this week I will once again be cheering for the Broncos. Not just because I’m a former resident. Not just because I’m a four-time season ticket holder. Not just because I love that an underdog team from the smallest market in the country can triumph over the money of big-market teams to succeed.

But because I want so very badly for them to win for their Humboldt brethren who share their name and their tragic experience. A Memorial Cup will not bring back the lost lives, but it may be a bit of salve for our wounds. It will contribute to my faith in people that grew every time I saw a hockey stick on a doorstep, a group of kids raising money to help families, or the number of times I saw a social media account of some effort in a far-flung corner of the planet to support #HumboldtStrong.

Let’s go Broncos!


Mark Frison is president of Assiniboine Community College.
» Twitter: @markfrison

» Mark Frison is president of  Assiniboine Community College. Twitter: @markfrison

Sheldon Kennedy Sees History Repeating With Nassar Case

March 6th, 2018 Activity Leaders, Parents, Respect in Sport, Sheldon Kennedy


Dan Robson January 24, 2018


Sheldon Kennedy Sees History Repeating With Nassar Case

For more than two decades, Nassar, who also ran a gymnastics clinic at Michigan State University, used his position of power and trust to prey on vulnerable children. Each account of sexual abuse further exposed a culture of ignorance and victim blaming within competitive sport.The enormity of Nassar crimes seems unfathomable. That he wasn’t stopped sooner is unconscionable. There weren’t just red flags. There were flashing lights and sirens. And they were ignored again and again. And as those wrenching accounts of sexual abuse were shared at Nassar’s sentencing, Sheldon Kennedy saw history repeatingMORE

Kennedy and McNeil – Commentary on Responsible Coaching Movement

March 6th, 2018 General News, Respect in Sport, Sheldon Kennedy

Kennedy and McNeil – Commentary on Responsible Coaching Movement

Monsters roam the earth, and Larry Nassar was a monster. The doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University was sent to prison for the rest of his life on Wednesday for molesting hundreds of girls, and 156 of them stood in the Michigan courtroom to give victim impact statements, and stare the monster down. Every one was a shattering example of damage, of strength, of courage. MORE

Active bystanders can stop abuse in the halls of power

March 5th, 2018 Activity Leaders, Parents, Respect in School, Respect in Sport, Respect in the Workplace, Sheldon Kennedy

Policy Options – Michelle Austin

February 5, 2018

Active bystanders can stop abuse in the halls of power

What everyone who works in the field of politics requires is bystander training. Victims of abuse – be it child abuse, sexual abuse, workplace harassment, marital abuse or elder abuse – will note that they repeatedly tried to tell their story and get help, but nothing happened. “From my experience, a child who is being abused has to tell — on average — seven people before their story is taken seriously,” said survivor and activist Sheldon Kennedy. MORE

Respect Group: Proud Sponsor of USport Soccer Nationals/Scholarship Breakfast

November 2nd, 2017 Respect in Sport, Sheldon Kennedy

Respect Group: Proud Sponsor of USport Soccer Nationals/Scholarship Breakfast


Sheldon Kennedy, Co-Founder of Respect Group, will be the guest speaker at the WolfPack’s fourth Annual Scholarship Breakfast on Thursday, September 28th, and he will host a special screening of the documentary Swift Current the evening before.

Kennedy commented: “I think these events give Respect Group and TRU an opportunity to show collective leadership within the University sports community. Beyond that, I think it sets the stage for Kamloops to demonstrate to other Canadian cities why being the Tournament Capital of Canada comes with a responsibility to really be the best.” Ken Olynyk, Director of Athletics and Recreation said “Having Respect Group (Sheldon Kennedy) come on as a sponsor for the men’s soccer nationals speaks volumes about the connection and importance of the work that is so imperative in sport, the workplace and our community.  I know Sheldon will have a great message for our WolfPack Scholarship Breakfast and truly understands the connection between sport and life.” The USport Men’s Soccer Nationals will be hosted by TRU at Hillside Stadium November 9-12th.  Information on that event and the 4th annual WolfPack Scholarship breakfast are available on the TRU website:

Bill Brooks: Calgary Business Leaders are tops

July 29th, 2017 General News, Sheldon Kennedy, Uncategorised

Bill Brooks: Calgary Business Leaders are tops


Being an exceptional business leader is no small feat. Challenges galore test the mettle of myriad businesses whether its the carbon tax, increases in the minimum wage, or shameful federal and provincial government ‘business averse’ polices, it’s indeed tougher than ever to make a buck. MORE

Encouraging respect in Manitoba schools

April 17th, 2017 Respect in School, Sheldon Kennedy

Encouraging respect in Manitoba schools


Former NHLer Sheldon Kennedy, Premier Brian Pallister and education minister Ian Wishart spoke to n Meghan McOmber’s Grade 7 class at Bernie Wolfe Community School (95 Bournais Dr.), on April 10. Kennedy, Pallister, and Wishart were at Bernie Wolfe to announce $100,000 in annual funding for the next three years to bring the Respect in School program to public, First Nations, and independent schools across the province. MORE


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