Over 1,100 teams across BC and the Yukon taped their sticks
last weekend in support of Buddy Check for Jesse and to create awareness around mental health.
In partnership with Buddy Check for Jesse, BC Hockey distributed 1,100 packages to all member Pee Wee and Bantam teams. The package included:
- A package of six (6) rolls of green stick tape
- A package of 20 wristbands
- Wallet cards
- Printed materials including posters and coaches talk
All BC Hockey Pee Wee and Bantam teams, BC Hockey Zone Program teams and all South Island Minor Hockey Association (MHA) teams received a Buddy Check for Jesse package this season. This included 114 Associations and 49 Zone teams.
Numerous other teams around the province and in other provinces downloaded resources from the website and participated in the program.
The initiative, now in it's second year, started over three (3) years ago by Dr. Stu Gershman in memory of his son Jesse Short-Gershman, aims to raise awareness about mental illness/challenges throughout the youth hockey community.
The weekend includes coaches delivering a "presentation" to their team that aims to normalize and destigmatize mental health challenges. The program resources include a sample coaches letter and many coaches relay their own experiences to their players. Coaches have a unique role and typically command respect and carry a lot of responsibility. They are looked up to by the players and the dressing room is a special place where kids feel safe and listen to their coaches instruction.
Many teams took to social media over the weekend sharing pictures and videos of their support for Buddy Check for Jesse. Check out Instagram for a gallery of posts using the hashtag
and follow the
Buddy Check for Jesse account