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Saturday, 09 February 2013 21:36

USA Swimming Safe Sport Handbook

 USA Swimming Safe Sport Handbook

There are a lot of great reasons to swim – at any level. As a life‐long activity, people often swim to have fun and spend time with friends. Swimming also encourages a healthy lifestyle and builds self‐confidence. Swimmers even benefit from the sport out of the water. They learn goal‐setting, teamwork and time management skills. Unfortunately, sports, including swimming, can also be a high‐risk environment for misconduct, including physical and sexual abuse. All forms of misconduct are intolerable and in direct conflict with the values of USA Swimming. Misconduct may damage an athlete’s psychological well‐being. Athletes who have been mistreated experience social embarrassment, emotional turmoil, psychological scars, loss of self‐esteem and negative impacts on their relationships with family, friends and the sport. Misconduct often hurts an athlete’s competitive performance and may cause him or her to drop out of our sport entirely. USA Swimming is committed to fostering a fun, healthy and safe sport enviornment for all its members. We all must recognize that the safety of swimmers lies with all those involved in the sport and is not the sole responsibility of any one person at the club, LSC, or national level.

Complete Handbook available for download

 

Friday, 10 May 2013 00:00

Breaking Down Sexual Abuse in Sports

Since the Sandusky case we have all been made aware that sexual abuse of a young child by a coach is possible.  Yet, more attention to the subject and types of sexual abuse in sports needs to be committed to addressing this topic and to developing an infrastructure that supports the needs of the athletes for a safe and positive environment in sports.

The world of sports is complex in regards to the coach-athlete relationship. Although a large proportion of US children participate in youth sport (40 Million), we do not give appropriate attention to analysis of the four differing types of sexual abuse in sports; pedophilia, sexual harassment, sexual abuse and athlete domestic violence.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012 09:15

USOC Safe Sport Handbook

Download the USOC Safe Sport Handbook



Monday, 17 September 2012 10:08

Speedskating Coach Is Accused of Abuse

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Five Olympic medalists and other current and former members of the U.S. speedskating team filed complaints accusing head coach Jae Su Chun of “unchecked” verbal, physical and psychological abuse.

Nineteen athletes filed a wide-ranging grievance against U.S. Speedskating and 14 signed a complaint with the U.S. Olympic Committee. The Chicago Tribune and Salt Lake Tribune reported on the accusations.

Attorney Edward Williams, who represents the skaters, said the abuse was “outrageous.”

The code of conduct complaint accuses Chun of slamming an athlete against a wall and repeatedly hitting him, throwing bottles and chairs at skaters, and repeatedly telling female skaters they were “fat” and “disgusting.”

Friday, 17 August 2012 08:26

Inside the Brain of an Elite Athlete

INSIDE THE BRAIN OF AN ELITE ATHLETE

Abstract | Events like the World Championships in athletics and the Olympic Games raise the
public profile of competitive sports. They may also leave us wondering what sets the
competitors in these events apart from those of us who simply watch. Here we attempt to
link neural and cognitive processes that have been found to be important for elite
performance with computational and physiological theories inspired by much simpler
laboratory tasks. In this way we hope to inspire neuroscientists to consider how their basic
research might help to explain sporting skill at the highest levels of performance.

Download Abstract

By Katherine Starr

penn_state_blog_pic

The NCAA levied a $60 million sanction against Penn State University after reviewing the outcome of the Freeh report which identified the failures of the institution to protect the victims and putting the institution’s needs above the law.   Penn State was obligated to comply with child welfare laws and Title IX; it failed.  Laws were in place.  In the case of Title IX, the institution had required policies and procedures in place.  The institution did all of the things it was supposed to do on paper and ultimately, but ultimately this was no more than “lip service” to its legal and ethical obligations.  The lesson to be learned from Penn State is a pretty simple one.  The organization reflects the values and ethics of its leadership.  When a law like Title IX gets passed, whether it is the sexual harassment provisions of the law or its athletics participation requirements, if the institution does not embraces its purpose, educate its staff and make certain that all employees clearly understand their obligations – then Sandusky happens.  No one in the formal leadership – presidents and senior administrators – or in the informal power club – Paterno, made it clear that compliance with the law was an expected zero tolerance obligation.  

American wins gold medal but her most important victory came when she gave evidence against coach who abused her

As Kayla Harrison strived for a judo gold medal yesterday – the first in America's history – it was one of those occasions which remind you that sometimes the margin between victory and defeat is so fine that in a vital way it ceases to exist.

Certainly, you could make such an assessment of the Olympic fate of the 22-year-old who a few years ago was found sobbing uncontrollably in the corridor of a US courthouse.

It was on the day she gave the evidence that sent her coach from childhood down for 10 years for sexual abuse.

Not surprisingly for many – and maybe not least Harrison, who is ranked world No 2 in her 78kg category – yesterday was as much an exorcism as a last push for glory.

By Tom Archdeacon

WAKEFIELD, Mass. — Too often, an Olympic dream for glory brings instead sexual abuse.

In the case of Middletown’s Kayla Harrison, the No. 2 judo athlete in the world in her 78-kilo (172-pound) weight class, it will have brought both should she win gold — as she’s favored to do — at the London Olympic Games.

Now 22 and living and training in Wakefield, Mass., Harrison was sexually abused from the time she was 13 to 16 by Daniel Doyle, her Centerville judo coach. Doyle is now serving a 10-year sentence in a federal prison.

Saturday, 09 June 2012 17:38

Safe4Athletes Appeal for Change

PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE AMATEUR SPORT ACT TO ADVANCE ATHLETE WELFARE AND SAFETY

by Katherine Starr

Unlike athletes and students in schools and colleges who are protected by Title IX’s sexual harassment and abuse provisions, athletes in open amateur sports are  currently unprotected from coach or sport leader misconduct except by criminal law.   While the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has promulgated recommended policies, it does not require its national sport governing bodies (NGBs) nor the local organizations and coaches who are members of these championship conducting entities, to have such protections in place.  Thus, children and adult participants in non-school youth sports programs nationwide are vulnerable to pedophiles and unethical coaches who use parent and athlete respect for their positions to manipulate their athletes to engage in inappropriate relationships and sexual exploitation.  

Thursday, 03 May 2012 09:47

STAYING IN BOUNDS

STAYING IN BOUNDS

Why a Policy on Relationships with Student-Athletes?

Sexual relationships between coaches and student-athletes have become a serious problem. NCAA member
institutions must unambiguously and effectively prohibit such relationships to ensure that sport programs offer
a safe and empowering experience for all student-athletes.


This NCAA resource is designed to educate member institutions and their student-athletes about why sexual
or romantic relationships between athletics department staff and student-athletes are inappropriate, how to
avoid those relationships, and what to do if they occur. When adopted and enforced by institutions of higher
learning, this model policy will help create a safe, healthy environment on college campuses. Although most of
the examples offered herein refer to coaches, the policy is intended to provide clear guidance for all members
of the athletics department (including coaches, administrators, athletics trainers, and other staff), as well as
student-athletes and parents.

Full Text Here

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Every athlete deserves a safe and positive sports environment. SPEAK UP if the way you are being treated feels wrong. 
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