Sheldon Kennedy skated for three teams in his eight-year NHL career and played for Canada's gold-medal-winning team in the 1988 World Junior Hockey Championship. He is widely known for his courageous decision to charge his minor-league hockey coach, Graham James, with sexual assault for the abuse he suffered over a five-year period.
Sheldon's decision to go public with the charges rocked the hockey world and forced him into the media spotlight. His life story was made into an award-winning television movie, and he has appeared on Oprah, ABC's Nightline, W5, and The Fifth Estate. Along with co-founder, Wayne McNeil, Kennedy established Respect In Sport
In Part 1 of our 4 part series, Sheldon Kennedy speaks about dealing with the spotlight, and offers advice for youth and parents dealing with abuse. He discusses the need for open, honest conversation and the need for parental involvement in children's activities.
Part 2: Surrendering to Win
In Part 2, Sheldon talks about his past problems with drugs and alcohol abuse. He recounts the seemingly paradoxical process of "surrendering to win", or acknowledging the need for help, and his path to sobriety.
Part 3: Making the Invisible Visible
In Part 3, we ask Sheldon who his heroes are and what gives him hope. He talks about his campaign to "make the invisible visible", a quest to create greater awareness of sexual abuse to better understand and cope with it.
Part 4: Keep it Simple
Sheldon talks about the importance of reducing the stigma attached to abuse. He talks about the need to simplify his life - a principle which he applies to his recent work with Respect in Sport (www.respectinsport.com). A collaboration with Red Cross, Respect in Sports is an on-line training program that delivers essential abuse prevention education.