Sign on with SNNMedia MentorsBack IssuesMain Page
Sign on with SNNReporter's ToolboxMedia MentorsIn the ClassroomBack IssuesThis IssueMain Page
Reporter's ToolboxIn the ClassroomThis Issue

Former hockey player campaigns against abuse

by Zoe Brown, Jamie Thompson and Janeve Everett
Banded Peak School
Bragg Creek, Alberta

Shedlon Kennedy talks to students at Banded Peak school
The mood in Banded Peak School was electric.

Sheldon Kennedy stood at the back of the gymnasium, which was packed with over 400 students, teacher and parents. We had all seen him on television, in the newspapers and heard him on the radio, but today, we were going to have the chance to meet the man who skated across Canada in person.

Our principal, Brant Parker introduced Sheldon Kennedy as a person who has had many difficulties in his life, but he is someone who has chosen to speak out and make a difference in the world. Everyone erupted in applause as he entered the gym.

Kennedy shared with us how important it is to let people know if you are being abused.

"All children born into this world are born with the ability to love and to trust. When you are abused, you lose your ability to love and to trust. You don't really care what happens to you", he told the audience.

"Many people blame themselves, but you need to know that it's not your fault. It is the fault of the person who is doing it to you. Children must begin to have conversations with their parents and other they trust about child abuse."

Kennedy then allowed children from Banded Peak school to ask questions.

"Why do people abuse kids?" a shy voice asked.

"Some of these people want to have control over others. Some of them don't even think that it is wrong. Some think that it is a way of showing love, but it is not. It is wrong. No one should have to put up with abuse."

After Sheldon Kennedy spoke, a group at Banded Peak school called the Peacemakers presented him with a cheque for over $250 which we had collected for the Sheldon Kennedy Foundation. The Foundation will use donated funds to create the Anaphe Camp near Radium Springs, British Colombia, a place where Canadian children can go to begin healing from the pain of child abuse.

Students present Kennedy with a really, really big check.

Sheldon Kennedy scales
the climbing wall.

Later, the principal challenged Kennedy by asking him if he would climb the climbing wall in the Banded Peak school gym. He was able to reach the top. He told us that it was a great honour to climb the wall. He thought that it was kind of like the Anaphe camp. It was about trying to reach for personal goals in your life and trusting someone on your way.

Finally, Kennedy and Wayne McNeil, President of the Sheldon Kennedy Foundation, sat in on Bill Belsey's grade seven Career and Technology Studies (CTS) class, which is affectionately know as "Change the World 101".

The class lead by student Katherine Gronseth, showed them the incredible research they had done in support of abused children everywhere (

Impressed by the quality of research and quantity of online resources that were presented in the class's Web page, Kennedy and McNeil asked the teacher and the class if they would like to be directly involved in the management and promotion of the Sheldon Kennedy Foundation's Web site,

The students eagerly accepted this challenge and will be visiting the Foundation's offices in downtown Calgary very soon. We invite all Canadian schools to take up Banded Peak's challenge:

A CALL TO ALL CANADIAN (and hopefully other) SCHOOLS

Sheldon Kennedy, the NHL (National Hockey League) hockey player who broke the silence about the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of his hockey coach as an adolescent, has just finished skating across Canada to raise funds as well as awareness on this issue.

The funds will be for the creation of the Anaphe camp, a place where affected youth can go and begin to heal from the abuse. In partnership with the Sheldon Kennedy Foundation, Banded Peak School in Bragg Creek Alberta is helping Sheldon promote the issues he raises and realise his dream for the Anaphe camp. All schools which are online are now encouraged to help support Sheldon and other youth in the following ways:

1) place a copy of the Anaphe camp logo on their school's home page and link it to

2) get teachers and students to discuss the issues that Sheldon is raising

3) do research about these issues and create Web pages with links to appropriate online resources and

4) organise a fundraiser to support the creation of the Anaphe camp.

For more info. please contact Bill Belsey ( at the Banded Peak School and the Galileo Professional Development Centre

Anaphe - a place for healing

By Graham Adams, Tyler Harris, Britney Jones,
Janeve Everett, Zoe Brown and Jessica Cromwell
Banded Peak School
Bragg Creek, Alberta


Anaphe, we hear the word all over the school. Anaphe. What is Anaphe?

A man named Sheldon Kennedy is at the top of the Anaphe chain. When he was sixteen, Kennedy was sexually abused by his coach, Graham James, over 300 times, once at gunpoint.

Kennedy went on to become a NHL player but he remained silent about the events of his past life. However, in 1997, he decided to speak up. He wanted to be heard and he wanted other kids who had been abused to speak up also.

Kennedy began a skate across Canada and as people started to follow, he began to work towards his ultimate goal -- to raise money for a 400 acre camp in British Columiba where abused kids could come to recover.

a poem by Rudee Hastie

Why does it have to be this way?
Every night in bed I pray.
Forgive myself?
I could not.
In my mind I slipped away.

It's help I need,
And it's help I got.

Finally, I told myself I'll be happy,
At a special ranch called Anaphe.



 Back to News