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Women's shinny report: At Greenwood outdoor shinny this Sat AM, some boys came on and gave us a little trouble- I connected with the rink staff staff and a William Coombs , Parks foreperson, gave me his card after intervening on our behalf (told the boys to wait until their turn at noon) and told me to call as soon as it happens next time. We were impressed and felt well treated.
I get asked a lot of questions about shinny times and when I was at Hodgson the staff and the skating instructor were a little unclear about the schedule. I think there has been some confusion about the end time because players thought it went until 9:30 pm and ice maintenance was happening at 9:00 or 9:15 and then the rink was closing.
So my question is, what time does Hodgson close on Sunday? Is it 9:00 pm? Or is that the end of the program and open shinny goes for another hour?
Adult Beginner Shinny is definitely until 9:30pm on Sundays. Ice maintenance should not happen until after 9:30.
Thanks for that information. As I mentioned the maintenance has been happening at 9:00 or 9:15 and while that isn't a lot of time, every minute counts when it is our outdoor ice!
I agree with you. I'll ensure it doesn't happen again.
I was at Monarch last Tuesday night and it was me and 16 men for women's shinny time. I didn't ask anyone to vacate, as I was the only woman, but the men didn't seem to know that it was a women's time slot. No scheds posted.
There was an altercation at the Monarch Park Arena last night that required the presence of 8 police officers. The incident took place during the two hour period allotted to women's shinny hockey. The officers I spoke with have asked me, as the person who made the call to 911, to follow up with the City and work with you to create new policies and procedures for how women's shinny is communicated at Monarch and if necessary, other arenas.
Here's what happened. About 10 women showed up last night to play at 8pm. The slot for women's hockey is from 8-10pm. There were men on the ice playing at 8:05, and they had to be asked by the employee at the rink to vacate. They did, yet several lingered around the ice waiting to see if we had reached a maximum of 10 players. If not, their intention was to use half of the rink. I am new to women's shinny hockey at Monarch, so I am not sure if this is a precedent that has been set wherein they (males) count the players for women's shinny and determine (on their own) if there are enough women to warrant a full rink. From my understanding from the rink supervisor, the police and the city, the rink is reserved for women players regardless of whether there are 2 or 25 players. This is not the understanding on the part of the "regulars" at the rink. As one officer commented to me, there needs to be very clearly communicated messaging around this, followed up by strict enforcement on behalf of the City and the rink.
As play began, there were continual attempts on the part of the males to get access to our game, and to the rink. On several occasions we had to ask one or more to leave the rink, or explain that this was women's shinny hockey time. By 9pm, half of the women left. I know that many felt exhausted and intimidated and/or unwilling to deal with the hassle of having to justify their ice time when all they wanted to do was come out for exercise and fun on a winters night.
That left 5 players on the ice and increasing insistence on behalf of the men/teenage boys that they were now justified to use half of the rink. They flooded onto it. I had to ask the rink employee to ask them to leave, mentioning that it was still women's shinny time, and that we still had an hour to play. This is when things escalated. One man in his 40s, and his 16 year old son, were very angry about having to leave the rink and they stood at the entrance to the rink yelling expletives (the 'c' word and the 'b' word) as well as insults and hateful comments to the remaining now four players (myself included) who were attempting to enjoy the final hour of play. Things got so heated that I had to call 911 and as the recorded call illustrates, the aggression on behalf of the 40 year old father, was especially vitriolic. He could be heard swearing and using hateful language throughout the 911 call. He insisted it was "free speech" yet the 911 operator told me to inform him that his language was a "hate crime". She could hear it loud and clear.
The 8 officers arrived and took reports. The 40 year old father was just as belligerent with them, using all of the language he used with us. The rest has been documented by staff at the rink and in a police report. One of the officers asked me to follow up with the city to let you know that there needs to be much stronger communication and enforcement in regards to women's shinny at this rink. The residents of the area that use the rink regularly must be informed of the fact that these two hours are non-negotiable and completely reserved for women's shinny regardless of how many players show up. I know that the incident last night was very intimidating to players and it would be a shame if women began to stay away from shinny hockey simply because they want to avoid altercations like the one that took place last night. The rinks are to be shared, and there is precious little time available to women's shinny as it is.
I had hoped that my first email of the season would be one saying what a wonderful shinny season we are having. Instead I am emailing regarding the unfortunate situation at Monarch Park rink.
When you and I spoke last year about the harassment and abuse that we, as women shinny players, experience I am not sure you were convinced of the veracity of my concerns until the situation at Ramsden. Your response to that was swift, appropriate and permanent. (Ramsden is having a great season and the staff are very supportive of the women players).
Kelvin, what happened at Monarch Park takes the gender harassment to a whole new level. We can all be grateful that a violent, physical assault was not part of the equation. I don’t think I need to say (but will anyway) that women must not be made to be afraid to be play shinny on City rinks, that it is your responsibility as Supervisor to ensure that all community members can enjoy the programs that are provided and that this situation is addressed immediately.
I know that you have received an email and are aware of the details of the incident on Tuesday Jan. 12.
This is exactly what one might expect when a large, open-access City facility is left to be managed by a single, inadequately (for this kind of not uncommon situation) trained youth. This rink has a history of problems related to inappropriate community use and adding a vulnerable component (women programs at night) to the mix without the proper support only increases the potential for something to go drastically wrong.
I, as a rink user and as a woman shinny player, am asking that you take immediate action to guarantee our safety at Monarch Park rink.
· That staff with experience and maturity are in charge of the programs and the facility, especially at night when they are most needed.
· That PFR resources are used to develop community and/or outreach programs at Monarch Park which is obviously an at-risk community.
· That staff receive further training and support for dealing with aggressive, potentially dangerous situations.
· That appropriate signage is posted with all program/permit times listed.
· That, if it is not already up, the Code of Behaviour is displayed prominently and enforced.
· According to the Code of Behaviour posted at rinks, “All programs and permits must be respected”, and “No foul, offensive or racist (can we add sexist?) language ….” should be used. It also says that rink staff must be respected.
Most immediately, I am asking that extra staff and a Supervisor are present next Tuesday when we have our ice time; that our program time is available and respected.
Thank you for taking the time to inform me about your experience at Monarch Park Artificial Ice Rink on Tuesday, January 11, 2011. I was dismayed to hear that male hockey players were behaving in an intimidating and abusive manner towards the female hockey players, and that you were compelled to call 911 to receive assistance from the police. You were absolutely justified in your action, and we are grateful that the police responded in a timely fashion. We are very sorry that our rink staff were not able to support you more fully.
I would like to advise you of the action that has been taken to ensure that your next visit to the Women's Shinny Hockey program at Monarch Park AIR will be more satisfactory:
1) We are investigating the incident with our staff and the police, and hope to be able to identify the aggressive leaders of the conflict, and to formally address their behaviour.
2) We will be giving direction to our rink staff to ensure that the male hockey players have vacated the rink prior to the start of the Women's Shinny Hockey time (8 pm) to allow the women to have an undisturbed access to the rink for the full 2 hours. Our policy is to allow full access to the ice by women for the entire 2 hours; there is no expectation for the women to "share" the ice with the men if there are only a few female players.
3) We have requested the presence of our mobile security unit to provide additional support to the rink staff in order to clear the rink for the women's program.
4) We will be issuing directives to staff at all of the other Toronto and East York rinks to ensure that they are following the same procedures. We do not know why the men expected the women to "share" the ice, but that is not the policy of Parks, Forestry and Recreation, and is not the approved practice at any other city location.
I've been getting copies of these various e-mails and have posted the original description on the Monarch Rink page. I've heard that you did send a response -- would it be possible for you to forward it to me so I can post it -- showing that management is working on this situation?
We'll do updates next Tuesday, others have been sending reports as well.
Creating a proper time-spread and means of shifting overflow between rinks in the general area might help us get around the ugly scene that happened last week. There's way too much demand for men's shinny in evenings and on weekends, and a shortage of demand for other uses at many other times. Coordinating schedules with Kew Gardens and Withrow might improve a time spread.
I have been advised my correspondence with residents regarding their issues and concerns is considered privileged and/or confidential, and I am instructed not to waive any related rights for use or distribution, and the email is intended only for the recipient(s). Any other use is unauthorized.
We'll follow up to get some further copyright clarifications.
This is an important issue for transparency re issues that are brought up by park users/rink users. It's good that you've raised it in this very clear wording.
we agree it's important to be transparent on this issue, and want to insure that others are aware of our response that so that similar incidents can be avoided. After the skate tonight we will be issuing some information to Jutta for public posting. Thanks for your patience as we work through this.
I can assure you I am taking this issue very seriously. The harassment will stop. The type of behaviour that is described in the email is absolutely inappropriate and unacceptable. Rink staff will be provided with clear direction on expectations regarding supporting the women players. We will have a full time staff out to the next women's shinny time slot to provide support. I will also try to come out.
I just received this email (below) and am very disappointed. Last year we had the issue where staff at Ramsden were not supportive of the women-only time slots on Tuesdays and you were very supportive of making change there. I thought we were done. Apparently not.
Obviously the attitude shift needs to come from the frontline - the staff. It is one thing to send out protocols and another to have them manifest. Once again this is a frontline staff issue. They must enforce the PFR program times.
I cannot be there on Thursday as I teach a class but I know other women will be there.
Please let me know who you will send to ensure that the rink staff follow PFR protocols and rules.
This seems to be a difficult year for the women to have their playing time but I know you will support us in every way.
I'm sorry to hear there was a problem at Ramsden last Thursday night. I was at the rink last Tuesday night and introduced myself to several of the shinny women. They informed me that there had been no problems this year and that rink staff have been great at making sure men did not take their ice time. I was very surprised to hear about what happened on Thursday.
We do not have a Rink Guard on duty Thursday nights, as we have been unable to fill that shift; however, I will ensure that my rink co-ordinator visits Ramsden at 8:45pm every Thursday to ensure there are no problems.
I will be at Ramsden this Thursday night.
At 8.50 the zamboni driver appeared to be warning the large number of shinny hockey players that they would have to leave if one or more women came for the women's shinny time. One skater in the change room was very vocal about the ridiculous unfairness of allowing women to have their own shinny time, when they could play alongside the men without restriction.
Nine women came, and the men changed into shoes and left. Recreation supervisor Kelly McInnes was there and spoke to the women, and gave them her card in case there was more trouble.
The atmosphere in the change room was unpleasant, not an encouragement to return.