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Athletescan Statement On Recent Safe Sport Developments In Canada

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January 12, 2022

TORONTO – AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, released the following statement in response to several recent developments regarding the state of safe sport across Canada.

“Over the last several weeks, safe sport has once again come to the forefront as a critical issue for the Canadian sport system: first with the release of a summary report on the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada’s (SDRCC) forthcoming independent safe sport mechanism following national consultations, as well as by our courageous members themselves – sharing their individual stories of maltreatment with the media,” said newly-elected AthletesCAN President Erin Willson, who opened up on her experiences as a member of the national artistic swimming team in a Globe and Mail investigation, alongside several teammates and peers in other sports.

 “As the most important issue raised by Canadian national team athletes, AthletesCAN is committed to prioritizing the athlete voice on safe sport in the development of the independent safe sport mechanism. We look forward to continued collaboration with the SDRCC and encourage our members to continue holding the appropriate parties accountable.”

To date, AthletesCAN, has completed the following recent safe sport initiatives:

·       Held the Safe Sport Athlete Summit in 2019, leading to the release of the Safe Sport Consensus Statements

·       Provided National Team Athletes with access to safe sport training through Respect Group

·       Expanded the Sport Solution clinic to take on more athlete dispute cases

·       Played a key advisory role through the Safe Sport Working Group to help shape the future of safe sport in Canada

·       Presented at the Brock University Safe Sport Forum entitled Athletes First: The Promotion of Safe Sport in Canada, and contributed to Brock’s upcoming Safe Sport eReader (open source online textbook)

·       Hosted a safe sport session and athlete consultation at the 2021 AthletesCAN Forum, where key feedback on the independent safe sport mechanism was collected.

·       Participated in the consultation process hosted by SDRCC in the establishment of both the independent safe sport mechanism and the Athlete Advocacy Committee

AthletesCAN will continue to represent the best interests of its members by collecting athlete feedback and perspectives via a survey on safe sport practices and third-party mechanisms within their sport, in addition to their perspectives on the independent safe sport mechanism.

The aggregate data from this survey will be built out into a report on athletes perspective on safe sport in Canada. The organization will also provide access to and share educational resources available in the system on safe sport. 

To speak to someone confidentially about a situation, please contact Sport Solution (1-888-434-8883 /  sportsolution@athletescan.ca) or the Canadian Sport Helpline (1-888-837-7678 / info@abuse-free-sport.ca). For more information on getting involved with the Safe Sport Working Group or to learn more about AthletesCAN’s safe sport initiatives, please email info@athletescan.ca.


About AthletesCAN

AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, is the only fully independent and most inclusive athlete organization in the country and the first organization of its kind in the world.  As the voice of Canadian national team athletes, AthletesCAN ensures an athlete-centered sport system by developing athlete leaders who influence sport policy and, as role models, inspire a strong sport culture.

For more information, please contact: 

Alan Hudes
Manager, Communications & Sport Partnerships
AthletesCAN
Phone: 613-526-4025 Ext. 224
ahudes@athletescan.ca