• April 16, 2024

The Penticton Minor Hockey Association has reportedly suspended three coaches from a U13 hockey team pending an investigation into potential misconduct.

The Penticton Minor Hockey Association has reportedly suspended three coaches from a U13 hockey team pending an investigation into potential misconduct.

Global News has spoken to individuals with direct knowledge of the investigation who wish to remain anonymous due to concerns for the safety of the children involved. According to these sources, the coaches are accused of providing players on the team with energy drinks and other caffeinated items without parental knowledge. The team’s recent game saw a new coaching staff on the bench, as the head coach and two assistant coaches have been indefinitely removed.

When approached for an interview or a statement, PMHA declined to comment. Association president Kiel Gatenby stated in an email to Global News, “At this time until we hear different from the (independent third party), we have no comment on this.” However, Gatenby did provide a statement to other media outlets, indicating that an independent third party, Hockey Canada, has taken over the investigation.

The statement clarified that Penticton Minor Hockey and the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association are no longer involved in the investigation, but they are offering support to the team. Allegedly, a complaint has been made to Penticton RCMP, though the RCMP spokesperson stated, “At this time, we won’t confirm or deny any investigation or the name of any person who may be subject to an investigation until such time as charges have been laid.”

Hockey Canada, in an email to Global News, expressed their awareness of the situation, stating, “It is our understanding that relevant information pertaining to a situation with the Penticton Minor Hockey Association has been forwarded to Hockey Canada’s Independent Third Party (ITP), which operates confidentially and at arm’s length of Hockey Canada and its members.” They encouraged anyone with information on maltreatment to contact the ITP at sportcomplaints.ca.

It is important to note that none of the allegations have been proven at this time.

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