June 16th, 2024

Hurricanes help put bullying on ice for local students

By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on January 26, 2023.

Herald photo by Ry Clarke Hurricanes defenceman Noah Chadwick takes part in a team building exercise with Grade 6 students using communication, cooperation, and patience to unknot themselves during a visit Wednesday at Our Lady of the Assumption School.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes took a break from fighting for the puck Wednesday afternoon to head down to Our Lady of the Assumption School to talk to students about bullying. Part of TelusWise’s #EndBullying campaign, members from the team went to schools in Lethbridge to speak about bullying and cyber-bullying while hoping to create awareness and helpful skills for how to recognize the different types of bullying, and how they can project a healthy learning environment for all.

“Having young people as mentors and as leaders in the community is always great for the students,” said Meghan Calder, principal of Assumption. “You don’t choose you teammates, just like you don’t choose you classmates. You have to find a way to work together for a common goal regardless of your background, regardless of where you come from, and how you come together. You are a team, you are family, and that is the same for students in a classroom working together towards a common goal.”

Spreading the success of teamwork, Hurricanes players spoke about being out in the public eye as mentors for youth.

“The team always tries their best to be as involved in the community as we possibly can. This school visit has more to it, as we are promoting anti-bullying which is a huge importance in today’s society, especially in younger children,” said Bryan Thomson, goalie for the Hurricanes. “I was in their shoes once, always looking up to the older hockey guys. So being that role model in the community and being able to enlighten their day a little more, it’s always fun.”

Working with the Hurricanes, students were involved in activities and listened to presentations on awareness, helping make those connections conscious, but also how to identify and stop it.

“Internet access to social media is happening younger and younger. The earlier we can speak to kids about what it is, what it looks like, how to prevent it, the hope is that as they get older, they will recognize it and they won’t partake in those activities,” said Calder. “For us in elementary school, it’s about early intervention and acknowledging what it is, so it doesn’t happen in the future.”

Helping make those connections and showing the unity of teamwork, the Hurricanes scored a goal against bullying during this year’s campaign.

“If there is someone on your team that is going through something, it’s important to let them know that you are supporting them and that you have their back. That if they ever need someone to talk to, you are a good option for them,” said Thomson.

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