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Two hockey players chatting in the changing rooms
Breaking The IceImage by: Movember
Two hockey players chatting in the changing rooms
October 7, 2021

Supporting the Mental Health of Young Athletes Throughout the Pandemic

Movember
2 minutes read time

COVID-19 restrictions in Canada have had an enormous impact on access to community sport for young athletes in the last 18 months.

However, Breaking The Ice, Movember’s flagship mental fitness program aimed at young hockey players, has successfully managed to adapt to some of the challenges posed by the pandemic.

The evidence-based program uses hockey to teach adolescent athletes aged between 12-18, their parents, and coaches how to talk about mental health. It reviews how to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health issues, what to do and when to get help.

The aim is to teach young athletes how to build resilience and overcome challenges both on and off the ice.

" The young men we work with will be better prepared to cope with any setbacks and challenges that lie ahead of them. "

This year we are very proud to be continuing our work with the Greater Toronto Hockey League to make Breaking The Ice part of the certification program for hockey coaches across the province of Ontario. We have run virtual coaching workshops with coaches across Ontario and Alberta (in partnership with the Calgary NorthStars organization).

We have also delivered eight player workshops in mental health literacy and resilience at the Whitefish Future Prospects summer training camps for 81 young players in August 2021.

Looking ahead, we are excited to be working with the Northern Ontario Hockey Association to deliver the program in more northern communities and continuing our reach further into associations in additional provinces.

Shannon Nix, Movember’s Program Implementation Manager, says: “The pandemic has had a huge impact on young people, many of whom have struggled to cope with the restrictions on community sport and being separated from their teammates.

“We are very thankful to be working with partners who understand what we are trying to achieve with Movember’s Breaking The Ice program and have worked with us to adjust our plans and helped us deliver in communities where it is most needed.

“Movember’s Breaking The Ice has been proven to increase mental health literacy and boost resilience in the young people who take part. The young men we work with will be better prepared to cope with any setbacks and challenges that lie ahead of them.”