Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Minor Hockey Makes Transgender Training Mandatory for Coaches

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Minor Hockey Makes Transgender Training Mandatory for Coaches

Article excerpt

Ontario minor hockey enacts transgender training

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Education on transgender athletes is mandatory for all of Ontario's minor hockey coaches, trainers and managers this season, the latest step in a series of changes stemming from a human rights complaint filed by a transgender teen in 2013.

A pair of online training modules must be completed by Sunday, or within a month of the person being assigned to a team. Non-compliance means the coach, manager or trainer will not be registered by their minor hockey association.

The Ontario Hockey Federation, Hockey Eastern Ontario and Hockey Northwestern Ontario have rolled out training materials on understanding discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression, as well as a guide to dressing room policy.

"It's something new in our society we're just not used to and it's good information to have if that situation were to arise," said Mitchell, Ont., bantam coach Tyler Tolton.

Jesse Thompson, a transgender player from Oshawa, Ont., got the ball rolling on gender inclusion in minor hockey with his complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario some four years ago.

Thompson, who was 17 at the time, felt being forced by a league official to change in a separate dressing room during the 2012-13 season "outed" him and exposed him to harassment and bullying. At that time, Hockey Canada's co-ed dressing room policy required male and female players aged 11 years and older to change in separate dressing rooms. The policy was applied based anatomical sex, not gender identity.

Thompson's complaint led to Ontario's minor hockey branches agreeing in 2014 to change dressing room policies and educate personnel on transgender inclusion. A dressing room policy implemented a year ago stated athletes who identify as transgender can use a dressing room corresponding to their gender identity.

This season's mandatory training makes understanding and accommodating trans athletes required reading.

"It provides information on gender itself, explaining what gender identity is and what makes up gender identity and expression," OHF executive director Phillip McKee said in a recent interview. …

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