9:15 AM EST
min - read
Sam Scouller
9:15 AM EST
min - read

The Puck Project

Organisers of the 2024 IIHF World Juniors Championships have said that they intend on using the tournament to make a positive impact and improve the hockey community for future generations.

The Swedish Ice Hockey Association along with the Gothenburg Ice Hockey association and the Municipal Company of Gothenburg collaborated to form the ‘puck of emotion’ project.

The puck of emotion project is intended to create a nice environment and safe culture within the sport for future generations. 

According to a press release from the IIHF, the project “has a strong focus on the adults who are responsible for creating safe environments where children and young people can thrive and develop.”

The project emphasises the players feeling safe and being able to express themselves in their teams. 

The Federation said it’s crucial for players to “dare to show emotions even off the ice, and to show concern for each other. Because in a nice culture, everyone will feel better and perform at their best.”

The IIHF is working to achieve this by holding training sessions for hockey leaders in the local area to show them how to create the ideal environment for the future of hockey. This training will continue to be given out every year.

During the World Juniors, an “inspiration seminar” will be held to provide information, knowledge, and of course inspiration for adults who work with young people in hockey to create a “nice culture.”

They are also intending to carry out a “communication campaign” in November on social media which will be aimed at a more varied audience.

The director of the WJC, Mikael Haglund, said: “We want the WJC to be more than an event. We want to leave a long-term positive impression in the areas of equality, gender equality and health.”

“We chose to focus on culture, as we believe it’s a key to getting more kids to start playing, especially girls, and to enjoy the sport and stay in it. There’s already a lot of good things going on, but we want it to be even better!”

Kim Martin Hasson, a legendary Swedish goaltender and current GM of Frölunda HC and ambassador for the WJC, said: “Hockey is a tough sport. The players who reach really high levels definitely have cockiness but also humility and thoughtfulness.”

“When we take off our gear, we need a safe and caring environment where everyone can be themselves,” she added.

The WJC in 2024 will have a lot of focus and sessions dedicated to the betterment of inclusivity and positive experience in the hocket community.

The World Juniors are a major event in the hockey calendar, with the hockey world’s eyes watching on for a preview of the future greats of the sport. 

The IIHFs ambition and initiative to use the attention to highlight and tackle some of the serious issues in the sport is a brave and praise-worthy decision.

Equality and inclusion in hockey has been a hot topic as of late, and the puck of emotion project could be a massive factor in turning the heads of major figures in the sport towards improving the experience of everyone in hockey and creating a safe, welcoming environment.

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