N.S. hockey parents complete respect course

Hockey Nova Scotia says almost all parents in the minor hockey system have taken an online course in respect to avoid having their children pulled off the ice.

Darren Cossar, the executive director of Hockey Nova Scotia, told CBC News more than 4,700 parents had completed the course — representing between 90 and 95 per cent of parents with children on initiation or novice teams.

"To this point we've had nobody come and defiantly say, 'I am not going to put my child in hockey because of that program,'" said Cossar.

Earlier this year, Hockey Nova Scotia announced coaches and volunteers were required to take a three-hour online course in respect at a cost of $30.

At least one parent of every child between the ages of four and eight had to take a $12 version of the course — developed by a Calgary-based company called Respect Group Inc. — by Dec. 1.

Cossar said despite that deadline, there's still time for parents to take the course before their children hit the ice this weekend.

He said local hockey associations are now responsible for enforcing the requirement and the consequences.

"Their job is to not allow those children on the ice until their parents have completed the course," Cossar said.

Ken Smith, a former coach and current hockey dad, said he's seen the need to calm parents down so the children can have fun on the ice.

"There's been a lot of vocal parents that are too involved with their children in the sport, living through their children," he said.

"I think it will make a difference because what we had before was a lot of people thinking that they should get involved when they saw something that was out of sync."

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