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Safe Sport

“The most important element in sport is the people involved, whether they are taking part, volunteering, coaching or paid employees. The success of sport, in terms of helping people achieve their potential, making the most of existing talent, and attracting new people to sport relies on putting people – their safety, wellbeing and welfare – at the centre of what sport does.”

Tanni Grey-Thompson, 11-time Paralympic Champion
We believe sport has a duty of care to its athletes. The health and safety of our members is of the upmost importance to our organization. AthletesCAN has brought together a Safe Sport Working Group to provide critical athlete feedback on the safe sport environment in Canada. In 2018-2019, this working group was essential in the development of the landmark Prevalence of Maltreatment Among Current and Former National Team Athletes in partnership with the University of Toronto research team led by Dr. Gretchen Kerr. The survey produced a number of key findings that would inform the national conversation around Canada’s ability to address not only abuse, harassment and discrimination in sport but all forms of maltreatment. As the collective voice of Canada’s national team athletes, AthletesCAN ensured athletes were part of the national safe sport conversation occurring in Canada. In spring of 2019, we brought together over 50 athletes with a combined 400 years of major games and world championship experience to discuss the future of safe sport in Canada. In only two hours, this group agreed on the major changes that must be made to ensure a sporting environment free from all forms of maltreatment. These athlete safe sport consensus statements were then presented to the National Safe Sport Summit in the presence of Canada’s sport leaders. We believe sport has a duty of care to its athletes. The health and safety of our members is of the utmost importance to our organization and will continue to ensure the athlete voice is part of the future of safe sport in Canada.

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Reporting

On December 21, 2022, AthletesCAN formally adopted the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS) and joined Abuse-Free Sport, the independent program to prevent and address maltreatment in sport in Canada. AthletesCAN, and its stakeholders now have access to the services of the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC), which is responsible for the administration of the UCCMS for AthletesCAN and serves as the central hub of Abuse-Free Sport.

The UCCMS sets out our expectations for conduct and behaviour to advance a respectful sport culture that delivers quality, inclusive, accessible, welcoming and safe sport experiences. The UCCMS generally applies to all AthletesCAN staff, temporary staff, and board members involved in AthletesCAN activities included but not limited to all events over which AthletesCAN has jurisdiction such as general webinars, Forum, networking events, as well as all other events and activities organized or hosted by AthletesCAN. 

We expect that any individual involved in AthletesCAN activities conduct themselves with integrity and the highest standard of conduct, in accordance with AthletesCAN values and the UCCMS.

Pursuant to the UCCMS, participants must report any actual or suspected cases of maltreatment to the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner by following the process laid out on OSIC’s website: https://sportintegritycommissioner.ca/ . OSIC is responsible for administering the UCCMS using trauma-informed processes that are compassionate, efficient and provide fairness, respect and equity to all parties involved.

Should the submitted case not fall under OSIC jurisdiction, OSIC will inform you as a part of this process. You will then be provided with alternatives, which include to agree that OSIC forward it to our independent third party, to file it again yourself to our independent third party, or other possible resources to address your concerns.

To file a complaint regarding an National Sport Organization, we encourage you to visit the individual NSO’s website for their respective policies & procedures, or call/email the Canadian Sport Helpline at 1-888-837-7678. Each NSO has its own complaint procedures. For support during this process, you can reach out to us directly at info@athletescan.ca or give us a call at 613-526-4025 or 1-888-832-4222. We also encourage you to view and reach out to any of the resources listed below, including Sport Solution, an organization that provides pro-bono legal council to athletes.

Safe Sport Resources

Abuse-Free Sport is an independent program that is part of a growing national movement to rid Canadian sport of all forms of harassment, discrimination and abuse. As a Program Signatory, AthletesCAN is an active player in this movement.

Unlike the previous approach, where each national sport organization created its own system for dealing with complaints of maltreatment, this is a centralized “one-stop shop.” It is independent and led by experts in their fields, using education and research to prevent maltreatment at all levels of sport.

The Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (the Office) serves as the central hub. It operates independently to administer complaints about alleged violations of the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS).

Where there are admissible allegations of abuse, harassment or discrimination, the Office conducts independent investigations and recommends sanctions against individuals who violate the UCCMS.

The Office will also maintain a national sanctions registry, which prevents individuals from evading sanctions be moving in different sports or in different jurisdictions.

For designated participants within our organization, there is access to a wide range of resources, including victim services and referrals to specialized mental health professionals and experienced lawyers – all of it available in English and French.

CONTACT

abuse-free-sport.ca/contact

ABUSE FREE SPORT HELPLINE
1-888-837-7678

EMERGENCY RESOURCES

Local Police Force 9-1-1

Crisis Services Canada
http://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/
TOLL FREE 1-833-456-4566
TEXT 45645

OTHER USEFUL RESOURCES

Sport Solution (AthletesCAN)
www.athletescan.ca/athlete-zone/legal-support
Toll Free: 1-888-434-8883 | Tel: (519) 661-4163
Email: sportsolution@athletescan.ca

Game Plan
(COC/CPC)
https://www.mygameplan.ca/resources/health

Canadian Centre for Child Protection
www.protectchildren.ca
1-800-532-9135

Kids Help Phone
www.kidshelpphone.ca
1-800-668-6868

Manitoba Sport Support Line
www.sportmanitoba.ca/sport-support-line
1-877-737-9875

Respect in Sport
www.respectgroupinc.com/respect-in-sport

Sport’Aide (Québec)
www.sportaide.ca/en
1-833-245-HELP (4357)