HTCP - Introduction

Hockey is the most popular sport in Canada. Each year over one million Canadians play in organized amateur leagues. Most of these individuals are children.

Due in part to the high participation level, hockey is also one of the leading activities resulting in accidental injury.

With this in mind, the Hockey Trainers Certification Program (HTCP) was initiated in 1980 by the late Bob Firth, a staff member of the government sponsored Hockey Ontario Development Committee (HODC). With the assistance of a Medical Advisory Board, a board of consultants, and the St. John Ambulance, the program was officially launched in November 1980.

During the next three years the program continued to grow and develop until the HODC was restructured in 1984 into two different organizations; the Hockey Development Centre for Ontario (HDCO) and Sports Medicine Ontario (SMO). The HTCP became the responsibility of Sports Medicine Ontario until April 1, 1985, when the responsibility for the program was transferred to the Hockey Development Centre for Ontario where it remains today.

The HDCO is comprised of representatives from the three Hockey Canada (HC) Ontario Branches and their Divisions. In 1985, one of these representatives, the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA), responded to the sudden increase in hockey injuries and proceeded to incorporate the HTCP into their development programs. They ruled that all OMHA registered trainers, or in the absence of a trainer, at least one member of the coaching staff must obtain trainer certification by October 1986. Subsequently, the Ottawa District Hockey Association, and the Northern Ontario Hockey Association also required each carded team to have an HTCP certified trainer. Over the next several years the GTHL, OHA, ALLIANCE, HNO, and OWHA have enacted rules mandating certified trainers for their association teams.

In 1994, Hockey Canada implemented a National Safety Program (HCSP) based on the HTCP for other provinces in Canada. Today, the HDCO and HCSP work closely to provide education for trainers across the country. It is the goal of these two organizations to have trainers available for all teams in Canada regardless of age category.

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