As we celebrate Black History Month, SFU Hockey is proud to recognize defenceman Kiano Robinson. Kiano has had an immediate impact in the SFU lineup in his first season, contributing on the scoreboard with 8 points in 15 games including 5 points in 5 games to kick off the spring semester schedule.
Kiano’s path into hockey began with a suggestion from his dad. Growing up in Calgary, Kiano excelled at soccer, basketball and hockey at a young age. With an abundance of options to choose from, Kiano’s dad recommended hockey as his athletic focus because it offered the most competitive environment for development.
At a young age, Kiano found his participation in hockey fostered a sense of community and support that helped him through challenges that visible minorities face in sports. Following what would be a rare instance of direct on-ice racism for Kiano during a youth hockey tournament in the United States, he leaned on a story shared by NHL star P.K. Subban.
“P.K. told a story about how his mom gave him advice after a racist incident when he was a boy, she told him that if he was going to stop playing hockey it should be because he wanted to, not because someone called him something. That’s something that impacted me, and I always tried to keep my emotional control because of it.” says Kiano. “My teammates also stuck up for me right away when it happened and that was big.”
Despite facing adversity, Kiano would advance through bantam and midget AA and AAA hockey in Calgary before earning a spot with the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons. While Kiano had a highly productive four-year Junior A career on the ice, he also remained committed to his studies, earning the Dragons Academic Achievement Award in 2018/19.
Kiano’s commitment to SFU made a splash in Drumheller last offseason as he began to plan his post-secondary education. This year he began his studies in Communications and plans to transfer to Business Administration while continuing his competitive on-ice development. He’s become a leader both on and off the ice, speaking out about his experiences.
“I want to emphasize the value of a multicultural community,” says Kiano. “It’s been important to me, and having teammates around I can lean on is the reason I continued playing at the university level.”
Don’t miss Kiano in action as SFU hosts rival VIU for Senior Night on Saturday, February 25th at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre in Burnaby. SFU will honour graduating seniors and teammates of Kiano: Mitch Ledyard, Jacob Lacasse, Justin Lee, Mathieu Jallabert and Kyle Bergh.