Many hockey mom stories start at a Try Hockey for Free or a Learn to Play clinic. My story began when I outgrew my double blade skates and couldn’t get the hang of single blades.
Growing up in Connecticut, ice was part of my life for several months a year, and now I was relegated to the snow banks of the local pond. Why I fell in love with hockey is anyone’s guess – no one on the Day side of the family played.
Although most of the family rooted for teams from Boston (Celtics and Red Sox), my hockey team was the Hartford Whalers. My mom made these navy blue curtains with hockey players on them and my dad took me to a game or two at the Hartford Civic Center. I watched hockey on my 13 inch black and white television and kept stats. It was a sign of things to come.
Fast forward a couple of decades and my two sons started playing roller hockey around the same time as my beloved Whalers followed me to the South. After an unfortunate incident which will be an interesting chapter in someone’s autobiography, we left the roller hockey program, ended up at the ice rink, and I found a score sheet with my name on it. Eight seasons, two years as Registrar, a stint on the local association’s Board of Directors and now a seat on the Carolina Amateur Hockey Association Board of Directors, and I’m still watching hockey, rooting for the underdogs and keeping stats!
~ Yvonne Moncovich
Hockey practices are just getting underway at rinks all over North and South Carolina and I’m taking my show on the road to ensure the safety of the kids on the ice. I’m not checking helmets or making sure they’re wearing their mouthguards. I’m the SafeSport Coordinator for North and South Carolina and my job is to train all the local youth hockey associations on how to implement the SafeSport Initiative.
SafeSport is a program from the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) designed to improve the safety of youth athletes in all sports. USA Hockey is one of many national governing bodies (NGB’s) who are adopting the SafeSport program within their organizations. SafeSport is a comprehensive program which incorporates existing policies with new information and actions associations can take to create a better program.
The SafeSport Initiative includes policies, education and training, screening, reporting and responding to concerns of abuse and monitoring the whole program. Abuse comes in all forms and I’m talking with local association SafeSport Coordinators about emotional, physical and sexual abuse as well as bullying, threats, harassment and hazing. The goal of the SafeSport Program is to recognize, reduce and respond to concerns of abuse, and by doing so we make youth hockey a safe place for our kids.
That’s a goal all of us can get behind so we’re working together to make sure kids can play, love and excel in youth hockey!
Lastly, I’m looking forward to bringing you more news from around the Tar Heel State. I could sure use your help, though, especially if you know about unique goings on in beginner to Midget youth hockey, or if you know about newsworthy individuals, teams or events.
~ Yvonne Moncovich email@example.com