Child advocate and former NHL star Sheldon Kennedy has been named as the closing keynote speaker at the 2019 Sport for Life Canadian Summit. Kennedy will be speaking on the event’s theme Moving to Action. The Summit will be held in Gatineau, Quebec January 23 and 24.
Kennedy began his career with the Detroit Red Wings in 1988, having been selected in the fourth round of the draft. He then signed with the Boston Bruins and the Calgary Flames, playing as a right winger until his retirement in 1996.
Since retiring, Kennedy has been a tireless advocate for victims of child abuse. He went public about sexual abuse he experienced at the hands of a coach and rollerbladed across the country to raise awareness and funds in 1998. He then went on to become a spokesperson for abuse prevention programs within the Canadian Red Cross. A television movie about his life, The Sheldon Kennedy Story, aired in 1999.
In response to Minister of Sport Kirsty Duncan’s stance to address abuse and safe sport, the Sport for Life Canadian Summit is thrilled to have Sheldon as the closing keynote. By sharing his story and striving to make the Canadian sport system a safer place for young athletes, Kennedy has embodied the spirit of ‘Moving to Action’.
Sheldon’s keynote is supported through a program partnership with Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities. “Jumpstart is committed to safe sport and works to promote accessible, quality experiences for kids across Canada. We are pleased to support the Sport for Life Canadian Summit and to bring Sheldon Kennedy and his tremendous work to sport and physical activity leaders in this national forum,” says Marco DiBuono, AVP Operations and Programs, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities.