By Michael Boriero
The Sherbrooke Phoenix will host its very first Pride event when the Saint John Sea Dogs come to town on Saturday evening, as part of a league-wide initiative in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL).
According to Annie St-Amand, the team’s director of communications, the CHL sent out a memo suggesting teams look into ways to educate and inform players, coaches, staff members, and the public about sexuality and inclusion within the locker room and on the ice.
“We decided for us in Sherbrooke that we want to do a game to educate and make sure that everyone includes everyone, hockey is for everyone. When they sent us the idea, we jumped on it, and we decided to do something,” said St-Amand.
The Phoenix are collaborating with five organizations based in the Eastern Townships for the event, including three from the city: TransEstrie, GRIS Estrie, and Sherbrooke Pride. St-Amand said members of the organizations are expected to be at the game.
“There’s going to be a presentation at the beginning of the game with every member of these organizations. They’re invited, so there’s a full section for them. We asked them to bring flags and everything so we could see them,” she said.
St-Amand told The Record that players will be showing support by sporting rainbow coloured tape on their sticks during the pre-game warmup. The goal is to make sure that everyone at the game, whether in the stands or on the ice, understands the importance of inclusion.
“The first thing we want to do with this is to educate our players, our staff about inclusion, so it’s important to develop education, and make sure our players know exactly why we do this,” said St-Amand.
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