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Friday, June 18, 2021

Breaking obstacles: The coach of Jamaica’s hockey crew needs to ‘show all people flawed’

TORONTO —
Cyril Bollers was as soon as advised that he would by no means make it in teaching due to the color of his pores and skin. As we speak, he is the top coach of the Jamaican nationwide hockey crew, and hopes to make it to the Olympics or skilled hockey at some point.

Bollers sat down with CTV’s Your Morning on Tuesday to speak about his expertise and the work he is been doing to assist younger hockey gamers of color.

When Bollers first obtained into teaching, a mother or father got here as much as him and stated that he would by no means make it in teaching.

“I believe at that time limit, it kind of motivated me, and fuelled me to turn out to be a coach, to turn out to be one of the best coach and to show all people flawed,” stated Bollers. “It might additionally give me a possibility to kind of showcase a few of my expertise and communication expertise and motivation expertise.”

Bollers spent 12 seasons teaching with the Toronto Crimson Wings and Marlboros of the Better Toronto Hockey League and was an assistant coach with the Pickering Panthers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. He additionally holds a high teaching qualification with Hockey Canada, and labored with Darnell Nurse of the Edmonton Oilers and Robby Fabbri of the Detroit Crimson Wings after they have been youthful

However regardless of his greater than 20 years of teaching expertise, he has by no means been capable of land a job in skilled hockey. For now, Bollers has his sights on getting Workforce Jamaica certified for the Olympics at some point and selling the expansion of the game within the area.

“I believe as Jamaica continues to try to the Olympics or continues to win tournaments, we simply must proceed to go on that path,” stated Bollers.

Bollers can also be the co-founder of Skillz Black Aces, a Toronto-based program that helps raise among the obstacles that younger hockey gamers of color face relating to stepping into the game. Hockey is an costly sport, which is likely one of the main challenges that forestall extra BIPOC athletes from taking part in.

“Many of the challenges that now we have are based mostly on affordability and accessibility. To play basketball and soccer, it is simple. It is reasonably priced,” stated Bollers. “(For) hockey, the price of tools, the price of ice rental, the price of instructors… it is very costly for among the BIPOC communities.”

Consciousness and curiosity within the recreation amongst BIPOC communities was one other problem, however that is beginning to enhance, with gamers like PK Subban and Wayne Simmonds turning into stars within the NHL.

“Loads of the speak across the barbershops these days is in regards to the Leafs and what is going on to occur with hockey,” stated Bollers. “Historically, they used to speak about basketball and soccer. It is about hockey.”​

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