Leisure and Lifestyle

Coaches Association of Ontario Launches Groundbreaking Resource to Combat Hazing in Sports

TORONTO, – In a bid to tackle the pervasive issue of hazing in sports, the Coaches Association of Ontario (CAO) has teamed up with Hydro One Inc. to introduce a groundbreaking resource aimed at coaches. The Hazing Prevention Playbook for Coaches, launched today, equips coaches with actionable strategies to recognize, prevent, and act against hazing activities, fostering positive team cultures across all age groups and sports in Canada.

Dr. Jay Johnson, a prominent Canadian researcher on hazing from the University of Manitoba, emphasized the detrimental effects of hazing, citing his 2018 study which revealed that nearly 100 percent of high school students expect to be hazed. The playbook seeks to dispel the misconception that hazing is a harmless tradition, shedding light on its potential for lasting psychological and physical impacts.

Stephanie Sutton, a seasoned youth coach with over 30 years of experience, spoke out against hazing, labeling it as humiliating, degrading, and abusive. She emphasized the importance of creating new traditions that foster positive team cultures, asserting that hazing has no place in sports.

Findings from the 2023 Ontario Coaching Report underscored the prevalence of hazing within sports organizations, with 33 percent of coaches acknowledging its presence and a staggering 82 percent considering it acceptable for team building. Jeremy Cross, Executive Director of CAO, stressed the pivotal role of coaches in recognizing instances of hazing and implementing positive team-building strategies.

The Hazing Prevention Playbook marks the beginning of a broader initiative by CAO and Hydro One to eradicate hazing from sports. With the next installment of the Ontario Coaching Report slated for late 2024, the focus will shift to deeper exploration of team culture and safety practices within sports organizations.

Coaches can access the Hazing Prevention Playbook for free on the Safe Sport 101 website, which offers additional resources and an eLearning series dedicated to making sports safe, fun, and inclusive for all participants across Ontario.


The launch of the Hazing Prevention Playbook for Coaches marks a significant step towards creating safer and more inclusive sports environments across Ontario. Hazing has long been tolerated under the guise of tradition, but its harmful effects cannot be ignored. By equipping coaches with the tools and knowledge to recognize and prevent hazing, this resource empowers them to foster positive team cultures where every individual feels respected and valued. As we look ahead to the future of sports in Ontario, initiatives like these are crucial in ensuring that the well-being of athletes remains paramount.

Tiana Squire

Tiana Squire is our Leisure and Lifestyle Writer, dedicated to covering a wide array of topics including restaurants & bars, fashion, travel and tourism, family events and entertainment. With a passion for exploring and sharing the best in leisure experiences, Tiana brings her unique perspective and enthusiasm to each piece she writes. For inquiries or feedback, contact Tiana at tiana.squire@gtaweekly.ca.

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