Hockey patch checks kids' injuries - GTHL - Hockey patch checks kids' injuries
September 10, 2007
Lois Kalchman
Special to The Star
Kevin Stubbington can enjoy a special sense of pride when he watches his grandson step on the ice for his first ever hockey game this year wearing the familiar STOP patch on the back of his jersey.
Stubbington, 56, is the Windsor man who envisioned the small STOP sign – an acronym for Safety Towards Other Players – to remind opponents not to check from behind, one of the major causes of spinal cord injuries in hockey.
Today, he will receive the Dr. Tom Pashby Sports Safety Fund Award for his contribution to the prevention of catastrophic injuries in sport, along with a $10,000 cheque.
"My 6-year-old grandson Kolton (Cougillon), who is starting to play organized hockey this year, gets it ... (he) knows what it means," says Stubbington, a fire marshal and security guard at Chrysler Canada for 30 years. "He knows you should not hit another player from behind.
"I know I'm able to sleep at night because I've done something in hockey that will be there forever and keep kids safer," he said.
The idea for STOP came from a single, almost tragic, incident in 1996. Stubbington, a volunteer coach and former referee-in-chief for the Windsor Minor Hockey Association for more than 20 years, was coaching a springtime peewee club when a player was shoved from behind and knocked out.
"We were scared to death," Stubbington said. "I was shaking and came home that night and thought that this has got to stop.