Two Parry Sound youth Hockey teams have added Orange Jerseys to their game-wear lineup.
The U11 Sifft Electric Shamrocks and the U15 Stacy and Troy No Frills Shamrocks are joining in on the nationwide project that aims to start the conversation about Truth and Reconciliation among young athletes.
Stephanie Early, Manager of the U11 team, says the Orange Jersey Project is sponsored by indigenous athletes.
“It’s starting a conversation to understand what happened in the past and to promote the path of Truth and Reconciliation. The kids wore their orange jerseys to our game on Sunday against Highlands Storm, and there is a QR code that families can scan which will take them to a learning system where they can learn about the project,” she says.
Early says the team was lucky enough to be able to join the cross-Canada project, adding the U15 team also received orange jerseys and wore them to their game on Friday night.
“Our kids really enjoyed wearing the orange jerseys so we have a couple of tournaments coming up and we definitely plan to make them part of our jersey lineup,” she says.
Early says the project has opened up some conversations amongst the players.
“We talked about it as a group initially and then, not every child, but many have come up to [the coaching team] with some questions or concerns and as coaching staff, we have taken the time to discuss Truth and Reconciliation with them,” she says.
According to the project’s webpage, the Orange Jersey Project was born out of an idea. “What if we could use the power of sport to serve as a vehicle toward educating today’s young athletes about the history of the Indian Residential School System and strengthen the path toward truth and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.” reads the webpage.
The project released its hockey jerseys last year and plans to release other sports for youth jerseys in the future.
You can learn more about the project and how to get involved on the Project’s website at orangejerseyproject.ca