Pucks, Partnerships and Prevention: A Cross-Border Initiative Against Gender-Based Violence

Canada and Austria have collaborated to address gender-based violence through a campaign integrated with ice hockey

May 24th, 2024
Yevheniia Symakova, News from Berlin
20240524 Pucks, Partnerships and Prevention.jpg

This friendly match acted as a lead-up to the Men’s World Championship while also providing an opportunity to promote fair play and respect. On March 5, 2024, the Steffl Arena in Vienna hosted around 7,000 spectators for a friendly hockey match between Canada and Austria. Beyond serving as a prelude to the 2024 Men’s World Championship in Prague, the game marked the launch of a cross-border campaign focused on preventing gender-based violence.

Canadian Ambassador to Austria, Ambassador Lulashnyk, had the honor of dropping the puck to kick off the highly anticipated match. This friendly encounter not only aimed to showcase athletic skills but also symbolize solidarity and raise awareness against gender-driven violence. The game featured prominent messages promoting fair play in all relationships, supported by the collaborative efforts of White Ribbon Canada and White Ribbon Austria.

The campaign, called “Ribbons on Ice,” used the event’s high visibility to raise awareness and advocate for violence prevention. The initiative was facilitated by the connections between the Canadian Embassy in Austria and various hockey associations. These relationships enabled a prevention campaign that included rinkside advertisements, digital screen displays and specially designed jerseys featuring the White Ribbon emblem, all promoting the message to end violence toward women. This imagery was a constant visual reminder of the campaign’s mission.

The collaboration extended beyond the ice rink. The partnership between White Ribbon Canada and White Ribbon Austria included a series of events focused on exchanging violence prevention methods. These events featured a “Train the Trainer” seminar and a “Gender Talk,” designed to educate and empower individuals on how to effectively combat gender-based violence. The Canadian Embassy in Austria played a key role in initiating and organizing these activities, emphasizing the importance of international cooperation in addressing global issues.

The live broadcast of the game on ORF Sport+ helped the campaign reach a wider audience, enhancing its impact. Viewers across Austria and beyond tuned in to watch the match while also being exposed to the important message of gender equality and violence prevention.

This approach of combining sports with social activism underscores the potential of international collaborations to bring about meaningful change. Through this partnership, both nations have shown their commitment to promoting fair play, respect and safety in all areas of life, both on and off the ice.



News from Berlin