Mount Royal University has put a hold on ice hockey intramurals for the coming semester after an assessment of the program found it didn’t meet the school’s accessibility and inclusion standards.
The program, used by university students and members of MRU’s recreation community, was analyzed by the university’s recreation department’s accessibility and inclusive programs audit, which found the costs and ice time availability have made it inaccessible.
“Cougars Athletics and Recreation is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. As such, we are dedicated to creating a culture of accessibility and inclusion with safe services, programs, events and facilities that welcome all individuals,” Cougars Athletics and Recreation said in a statement.
“It was decided to place the program on hold due to increasing costs for ice times, as well as ice time availability, which we felt made the program less accessible.”
In a notice posted online, MRU said officials consider participant behaviour, sense of belonging, equipment and skill requirements, fees, ice time, location, staffing, and who the program was built by, with, without and for when evaluating all programs.
The university said in the notice that it’s critical to pause and re-evaluate its programs to ensure it’s working toward fully inclusive and accessible programming. Until more equitable opportunities can be found for ice hockey in the future, the school will look into the possibility of offering similar sports options, such as floorball.
“While there has been evidence of ice hockey creating a sense of belonging for some, there are critical areas that require improvement,” said the notice.