Town of Markham

Town of Markham

October 16, 2007 14:23 ET

Markham Launches Respect In Sport

MARKHAM, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 16, 2007) - Markham officially launched its participation in the Respect in Sport (RiS) program, today, October 16. Respect in Sport is an online training program for coaches and parents to prevent abuse, neglect, harassment and bullying in sport, and address the legal and ethical responsibilities associated with these issues.

"We're the first community in Canada to launch this important program because we believe sport helps build character and helps build a community," said Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. "This innovative new program gives coaches and parents the tools they need to teach good sportsmanship and helps prevent abuse."

Former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy joined Mayor Frank Scarpitti and community representatives to announce the program's launch. Mr. Kennedy, one of the founders of Respect in Sport, brought awareness to the issue of abuse in sport when he charged his long-time hockey coach with sexual abuse.

The launch was part of Character Community Week celebrations, which are aimed at keeping and enhancing our communities as places where families are strong, homes and streets are safe, education is effective, businesses are productive and neighbours care about one another. Character Community celebrations will take place at Markville Shopping Centre on Tuesday, October 16 from 7 to 9 p.m.

The Markham Sport Council is part of True Sport, a national movement of communities and groups across Canada working to ensure a positive, meaningful and enriching experience for all who participate in sport.

For more information on Respect in Sport, visit For information on the Markham Sport Council visit


About Respect in Sport

Respect in Sport provides online abuse prevention education for youth leaders, coaches and volunteers involved in sport at all levels. The Respect in Sport online curriculum provides information on reinforcing positive emotions, preventing and reporting bullying and harassment, preventing and reporting abuse and neglect. In addition to creating a safer environment for sport participants, the program provides information about personal and organizational liability.

Respect in Sport was established in 2004 by co-founders Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil. Kennedy is a former NHL player and advocate for the prevention of child abuse. McNeil has served as Chairman of the Alberta Gymnastics Federation and as volunteer President for the Sheldon Kennedy Foundation, which raised over $1 million for prevention of child abuse during a 1998 Cross-Canada Skate.

The Respect in Sport program is funded through monies provided by the Bell True Sport Community Award presented to Markham in 2005; the Markham Sport Council and Town of Markham Character Community. Respect in Sport is available free to 500 coaches and 500 parents in the Markham area.

About the Markham Sport Council

Formed in 2005, the Markham Sport Council is made up of representatives of sport, recreation and active living groups, including sport clubs, headquartered or primarily operating in the Town of Markham. The Council supports and advises the Town of Markham on sport-related planning and strategic initiatives, promotes active involvement in sport and physical recreation and provides a network for sport organizations to share experiences and resources.

In August 2006, MSC received a two-year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for community sport organization development that will enable MSC to help Markham sport clubs develop volunteer recruitment and retention, fair play and respect, and organizational effectiveness.

Building Markham's Future Together

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Markham Corporate Communications
    Marjorie Rebane
    (905) 479-7754
    Markham Sport Council
    Tamara Roth
    (905) 472-6717, ext. 1