African Hockey Association – AHA!
The African Hockey Association AHA! is a community-led response to diversity in hockey.
What was the driving force in creating this program?
Even though ice hockey is recognized as Canada’s national winter sport, many marginalized youths still face challenges when it comes to participating. Financial barriers and racial discrimination are just a few reasons preventing some of our youth from playing the sport.
Godlove Ngwafusi – General Manager of the African Hockey Association, after experiencing seeing how his son, Nicholas, was negatively treated on the ice, sparked an urgency to provide a safer space for racialized youth to enjoy the sport. Ngwafusi started the program in October, and the African Canadian Association of Ottawa (ACAO), and other sponsors helped with providing ice time, and covering equipment costs. This also lowered the barrier to entry for many youth, whom didn’t have the financial means to participate in the sport.
In a recent news article posted on leDroit, it seems that in certain pockets, the cycle of hate is still continuing. Two racialized youth were subjected to racial slurs on and off the ice, and their problems weren’t being resolved. This resulted in the boys choosing to hand over their jerseys, and leaving the sport-studies program. Reading about this is disheartening to say the least, however the light at the end of the tunnel is the rapid developments towards inclusive spaces like African Hockey Association, which aims to break this cycle.
Social media channels of AHA! are found at:
This post is also available in: French