HALIFAX -- The governing body for organized hockey in Nova Scotia launched an online survey Monday to find out how it can better address racism and discrimination in the game.

Hockey Nova Scotia is looking for ways it can make the sport more welcoming to racialized communities, who remain underrepresented in the sport, according to Dean Smith, chair of the organization's diversity and inclusion task force.

"We sadly acknowledge that there is racism and discrimination in this game and it has existed for a long time," Smith said in an interview Monday.

The governing body created the task force last year in response to racist incidents at some of its hockey games, including one incident involving a Nova Scotian teen, Logan Prosper from Waycobah First Nation, who reported he was the target of racial slurs in 2019.

New Canadians, people of colour and LGBTQ+ people aren't picking hockey, Smith said. The goal of the online survey, he added, is to collect experiences and ideas from people, and use that information to develop programming and to make investments.

Smith said he hopes old and new players as well as other members of the hockey community will take the time to share their experiences and talk about the challenges facing racialized people in and around the sport.

People who are close to the game can help the governing body make the sport more inclusive, he said. "We believe that first voice is the key to solving many of the issues confronted by racialized communities in this game and we think it will help us address the issues of racism and discrimination."

The survey, which came online Monday and will remain open until Nov. 1, The survey, which came online Monday, will remain open until Nov. 1.

It can be found on Hockey Nova Scotia's website. It can be completed anonymously.

The governing body's task force was created late last year after Logan Prosper, a 16-year-old hockey player from Waycobah First Nation, reported he was the target of racial slurs during a match in Cheticamp, N.S.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2020.