Local non-profit partners with Hockey Regina to promote mental health education in athletes


Inside the Box, a local nonprofit, has partnered with Hockey Regina to offer mental health and wellness seminars to all U13-U18 players this season.

Inside the Box is a youth organization founded with the goal of transforming sports culture in Regina and the province by educating athletes, stimulating conversation, and encouraging thought.

Paige Hamann, 21, founded Inside the Box in 2020 and now the organization is finally able to do what it set out to do.

The partnership with Hockey Regina is the group’s first opportunity to offer its courses to teams.

“It will be all U13 to U18 teams from Hockey Regina,” explained Hamann. “So there are some athletes that we can talk to and hopefully that way we can make a difference.”

Tailored specifically for Hockey Regina, the seminars will focus on putting people first and athletes second, the importance of communication, and dealing with pressure and confidence.

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“We want to take a pre-emptive approach so these athletes have tools to move forward and make sure they have support before things get bad,” Hamann added.

Each team, both boys and girls from AAA to Tier 3, will participate in a one-hour interactive seminar moderated by Inside the Box.

There will be a speaker with a hockey background, and players will have an opportunity to reflect, debate, and open up anonymously.

Sessions are conducted for each team to promote culture building both within their individual teams and the overall Hockey Regina community.

Hockey Regina said the partnership is a step in the right direction when it comes to preserving the sanity of their athletes.

Joanne Eberle, media and events manager at Hockey Regina, said the organization recognizes the importance of mental health and is looking for the right way to help their athletes deal with pressure, be it external from coaches or parents or internally .

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She added that they want to give their athletes the tools they need to recognize struggle in themselves or in teammates.

“Maybe we can help them at the team level and just with some things that are specific to athletes,” Eberle said.

“If they get injured they might have some issues dealing with the fact that they might not fit into the team like they were when they were on the ice.”

Hockey Regina is impressed with Inside the Box’s athlete-to-athlete model and said it’s important to have presenters who are in their shoes to make them more approachable.

“I think athletes are often told to be tough, mentally strong, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re mentally good,” Eberly said.

“If your mental health isn’t on track, nothing else will be, and I think they’re just under a unique amount of pressure.”

She said that overall, Hockey Regina tries to introduce her players to the fact that you can still be a good athlete while keeping an eye on your mental health.

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The seminars are scheduled to begin September 26 and last through December, when over 70 different Hockey Regina teams will complete their session.

Hamann said she hopes Inside the Box will host similar seminars for other sports organizations in the future and tailor the courses to the specific needs of those athletes.

She also said the course could be adapted for younger athletes as well.

“You’re never too young to talk about these things,” said Hamann, who founded Inside the Box when she was 18.

After losing a teammate to suicide in high school, Hamann decided she wanted to inspire change.

“If I can make a difference in this small community, hopefully other organizations and aspects of life can make a difference too.”



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