Our Safe Sport Commitment
As we are sure you are aware, there have been many high profile sexual misconduct allegations made against gymnastics coaches and support staff in both Canada and the United States recently.
These allegations are deeply concerning to everyone involved in our sport. No athlete should be subject to this type of conduct and we are working tirelessly to ensure that all of our participants are able to take part in our sport in a safe and welcoming environment. We take the safety and well-being of our participants seriously and it is a high priority for our organization.
While these allegations are not reflective of the great work and tireless commitment of the hundreds of coaches, staff, and volunteers in our sport, they do serve as a reminder of our obligation to be vigilant in ensuring a safe environment for all of our participants.
Gymnastics Canada is actively working with our provincial and territorial partners (PTOs), as well as some of our other partners – the Respect Group, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), and the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) in the development of supports, tools, and resources that will assist our community in enhancing their participant safety and protection practices.
Gymnastics Canada signed the CAC’s Responsible Coaching Movement (RCM) pledge in April 2017, and we, along with our PTO members, continue to work with the CAC towards aligning our policies, procedures, and practices as they pertain to the RCM and the Rule of Two.
We are also continuing the work begun in October 2017 of a full review of our current policies and procedures. The first phase roll-out of these revised policies, which focus on our Safe Sport framework, will be released in January.
Our Board of Directors has also started the process to create a Safe Sport Committee, with planned implementation in January. The first meeting of this committee will take place at Elite Canada in Quebec City in February.
With thanks to our partnership with the COC, we are able to provide all of our national team athletes and coaches with full access to the Game Plan program offered through Morneau Shepell, and in particular, access to mental health support on a 24/7 basis. That information was sent to these individuals earlier today.
With thanks to several incredible members of our Integrated Support Team, here are some other links that may be helpful at this time:
GCG is committed to supporting our PTO members, and their member clubs, in the delivery of programs and services that promote participant safety and protection, and we will continue to communicate with you as additional information, supports, and resources become available.
If you have any other questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your provincial/territorial federation. A contact list for all provinces can be found on our website here: http://gymcan.org/get-involved/find-a-club
Chair, GCG Board