Pee wee hockey coach sentenced to jail time for tripping kids

February 27, 2013

Attention parents: Behave yourselves. At least in Canada.

The Vancouver-area pee wee volunteer hockey coach who last summer tripped players during a postgame handshake, the traditional moment of sportsmanship, has been sentenced to 15 days in jail.

Martin Tremblay, 48, kicked out at an opposing player, sending a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old to the ice. Tremblay had pleaded guilty to one count of assault in November; the 13-year-old hurt his wrist in the fall. In January, the crown asked for a sentence of 30 days under house arrest and probation, but provincial court Judge Patrick Chen upped that Tuesday, choosing to send a message to parents.

“Society will not tolerate the assault of children by adults,” Chen said (via the Ottawa Citizen). “[The sentence is] a signal to other parents heavily involved in the sporting activities of their children that they must be seen as models of good and acceptable behavior and not as instigators of violence and of riotous behavior.”

Tremblay, who was helping coach his son’s team, will will not appeal. “He lost his wife, he lost a number of construction contracts, he’s rebuilding his life after this incident,” his lawyer, Bob Bellows, said. “He’s paid a heavy price for his actions that day.”

Chen in his ruling noted that Tremblay had called one of the boys “twinkle toes” and ridiculed his skating ability, which caused the boy to leave the ice in tears. After the child was tripped, he got up and swung his stick at the coach, prompting spectators and parents to yell and throw water bottles onto the ice. Tremblay admitted tripping the player.

“Win or lose, this was just a game,” Chen said. “This was the last place anyone would have expected an assault to take place and the very last place that one would have expected an adult to assault a child.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | February 26, 2013