Hockey Is For Everyone

ASHBURN XTREME

Diversity, Inclusion and Respect

A MESSAGE ABOUT DIVERSITY, INCLUSION AND RESPECT:

The Ashburn Xtreme Hockey Club is dedicated to maintaining a safe and inclusive athletic environment in which all people feel welcome, respected and valued. We believe that hockey is for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, economic status, ability, gender identity or sexual orientation. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion has been an intrinsic part of our mission since the founding of our Club nearly two decades ago.  Earlier this year, however, two disturbing incidents involving our Ashburn Xtreme U14 team made it abundantly clear to us that merely expressing our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and maintaining policies against hateful or otherwise offensive language and conduct are not enough. We have a responsibility and an obligation to our players, families, supporters and community to do better.

The allegation of racism against our team involved offensive noises directed toward an opposing player from the Ashburn bench, and an Ashburn player’s alleged use of a racial slur against an opposing team member during play. Both complaints were thoroughly investigated by the Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association (PVAHA). We pledged our full cooperation to the PVAHA and made clear from the outset that the Ashburn Xtreme would accept and fully support its findings, no matter the outcome.

To be clear, speech and conduct that are offensive, discriminatory hateful or hurtful have absolutely no place in our Club, on or off the ice. Racism not only hurts people and communities of color, but it also hurts all of us. Doing our part to address racism helps everyone.

Our work is already underway:

• We are establishing a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to guide and oversee our efforts. The
committee’s first order of business is to recommend updates to our mission, codes of conduct,
player handbook and website to more clearly and directly express our Club’s guiding values and
policies with respect to diversity, equity and inclusion.

• We have committed to and are already exploring options for providing age-appropriate training
on diversity and unconscious bias for our players and families, as well as mandatory training for our coaches, staff and board members on a regular basis.

• We are undertaking a full review of our longstanding policies and procedures for addressing and
reporting incidents of inappropriate speech or conduct by players, coaches or staff to our Board and the proper authorities and will take the necessary steps to ensure ongoing compliance.

• We will strive as leaders to always serve as effective role models by modeling respectful and inclusive language and behavior.

• We will take as our goal building a future for our Club that fully reflects the diversity of our community by working to make hockey more accessible to youngsters not traditionally
represented in our sport.

We recognize that this important work is only beginning. We look forward to keeping all Ashburn
Xtreme stakeholders updated on our progress, and to continuing to listen, learn and take responsible action to engage with our hockey community and enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in our Club and the sport that unites us.

Respectfully,
Gary Pouliot
Executive Director
AXHC

Steven Delong
President
AXHC Board of Directors