The City of Swift Current has been recognized for its role in helping to keep the city a safe place.

Sheldon Kennedy, the co-founder of Respect Group, an advocate of speaking out against forms of abuse, and Swift Current Bronco alumnus was at Swift Current City Hall yesterday to present an engraved oar to City staff to commend their role in stopping abuse through Safe Places.

The former NHLer said that he was happy to present the recognition to the City.

"We just want to recognize the City of Swift Current and the Safe Places team for their leadership in this initiative within the City of Swift Current and their ability to reach outside of the City of Swift Current to help other communities do the same thing."

The City was given an engraved paddle from Respect Group as a recognition for their leadership with the program.

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"It can't be just us, it can't be just Sheldon," Kennedy said, "we need people that understand the importance of this in our communities, and help us deliver that and make it become a reality."

Twenty-five paddles were handed out by Respect Group.

The distribution of the paddles is the latest in Respect Group's efforts to raise awareness against abuse while also recognizing those with the same goals to prevent abusive acts.

"The more confidence, and the more educated people that we have and the [better] understanding of these issues in our communities, the safer communities that we're going to have and that's what Safe Places is doing."

Kelly Schafer, the Safe Places manager with the City of Swift Current. said that it was an honour to receive the recognition from Kennedy.

"It's emotional because we know the history of what Sheldon means to this community, and the transformation and what we've done as a community to take a step forward, take a leap of faith, be leaders, and making change [by] being the change."

"Everybody that's involved is really passionate about what Safe Places represents, why, what it means for the future, what it means for our community and for our kids."

Respect Group has certified over 1.3 million people through its programs. Over 2,000 people have been Safe Places certified.