Vail Mountaineer's director Zach Blom (left) and Fraser Valley Eagle's director Matthew Ziegler (right) will represent Colorado's youth hockey clubs and will participate in the Friends Colorado three year anti-bullying campaign.
The 2017 Colorado Amateur Hockey Association fall meeting took place last Saturday at the Pepsi Center, bringing Colorado's youth hockey team managers and association directors together to discuss the upcoming season's agenda and address an issue that has become more and more prevalent in youth sports throughout the world over the years.
The gathering was highlighted by the anti-bullying presentation put on by Friends Colorado as the non-profit organization approaches the end of their pilot program here in Colorado, and prepare for their full program launch throughout the state.
Friends President Marie Forsberg-Mare was on hand to talk about their dedication to the prevention of bullying and conducted an interview with Friends Colorado Ambassador and Avalanche Captain Gabriel Landeskog on the importance of the organization, it's message, and what it means to him. The purpose was to help teach attendees ways to identify the problem when it occurs, and to provide ideas on how to educate their associations and it's players on deterrents within their own organizations.
Friends was founded in Sweden in 1997 and it's success has led them to become the largest anti-bullying organization in it's home country. With the growth of the program and the help of private donations, Friends Colorado was launched in 2015 as the first international location outside of Sweden.
The goal of CAHA and Friends was to persuade two of Colorado's youth hockey clubs to commit their organizations to the Friends Colorado three year program. The Vail Mountaineers and the Fraser Valley Eagles were the lucky two that were selected and will begin their participation starting this coming season.
According to the Friends presentation and wesite, one in four children experience bullying. It is Friends Colorado's vision to provide proper instruction and avenues to allow children and adolescents to grow and prosper in a safe, comfortable environment while providing awareness to diminish and combat against bullying world wide. You can find out more about Friends on their website at the link located below.