Statement from the Stratford Hockey Club

STRATFORD, ON, Feb. 5, 2015 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors of the Stratford Hockey Club met this evening to review matters related to the criminal conviction of former player Mitch Vandergunst.

The Board takes issues related to the conduct of our players very seriously.  We have zero tolerance for any behavior that contravenes our Code of Conduct. 

We were first notified of the conviction against Mitch Vandergunst, via a media call on January 30, 2015.  From there we immediately took the player out of the line-up and subsequently suspended him. 

Mr. Vandergunst contravened our Code of Conduct and as such he is no longer with the organization, effective immediately. 

Going forward, in order to ensure all members of the Stratford Hockey Club, players, staff and Board members, understand suitable conduct and our zero tolerance policy we will be taking the following steps:

  • Players, staff and Board members will participate in additional suitable conduct training sessions with our Prevention Officer, as well as a Domestic Abuse awareness session provided by Optimism Place Women's Shelter and Support Services.
  • The Board will review our current policies with regards to reporting protocols and obligations for players, staff and Board members.
  • Criminal record checks for players 18 and over will be instituted by the team.

Finally, the Board of Directors wishes to extend our deepest apologies for any additional grief or stress our Club's involvement may have caused the victim and family. This was unintentional and we are sorry. 

Note: team President Dan Mathieson and OHA CEO Scott Farley will be available for a brief media availability at 10 a.m. Friday February 7, 2015 at Allman Arena, Stratford Hockey Club office.

SOURCE Stratford Hockey Club

For further information: Stratford Hockey Club, 519-273-6712

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