The You Can Play Project, which advocates for LGBTQ participation in sports, has come out in support of Hockey Canada’s new dressing room policy.
Hockey Canada has implemented a new dressing room policy for the 2023-24 minor hockey season, including a “minimum attire rule,” with the goal of respecting privacy and making dressing environments more inclusive.
You Can Play says it endorses Hockey Canada’s initiative to increase the safety and inclusivity of locker rooms for everyone, regardless of “gender, identity, religious beliefs, body image concerns, or personal considerations.”
The organization calls it an important step toward increasing accessibility in hockey and says it could be a catalyst for protecting youth in other sports.
“The aim should always be to ensure our locker rooms become environments that are welcoming and inclusive,” You Can Play said in a statement.
Hockey Canada’s “minimum attire rule” requires players to wear a base layer in a dressing environment when surrounded by at least one other person.
The new policy also outlines recommended best practices for the use of showers, where players must wear minimum attire in open-concept scenarios, such as swimwear.
“Now, everyone on a team can use the same dressing room should they want that, as the policy removes barriers that have existed in the past without having to ask for individual accommodations,” Hockey Canada said in a statement.
The policy also prohibits violent activities and videos, still photos or recordings of any kind in dressing environments.
“We know that change is difficult and our work to create safer spaces in sport will always be a journey. You Can Play commends Hockey Canada as they continue to break down barriers, and uniting players from all backgrounds, into rinks across our nation,” You Can Play stated.
Hockey Canada states it’s the responsibility of coaches and team staff to ensure players follow the policy.
The Canadian Press