What is Safe Sport?
Safe Sport is a movement towards ensuring that sport experiences for all participants are enjoyable and free from harm. Sport provides opportunities for people to stay physically and mentally well, to connect with others, and to compete if they wish. Safe sport creates the conditions for a positive experience.
Safe Sport is a "bucket" that holds all kinds of topics, including but not limited to:
- Prevention, reporting, investigation, and sanctioning of maltreatment
- Injury prevention and management
- Mental health and wellness
- Privacy and confidentiality
- Equity, diversity, and inclusion
More than anything, Safe Sport is about fostering positive behaviours in sport, so it is safe and enjoyable for everyone.
viaSport commitment to Safe Sport:
In partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport (MTACS), viaSport’s mission is to ensure that all British Columbians have the opportunity to participate in sport and reach their full potential. viaSport is committed to supporting all sport organizations to create safe sport environments that are accessible, inclusive, respect their participants personal goals and are free from all forms of maltreatment.
What is viaSport doing about safety?
- B.C. Universal Code of Conduct: The Province of B.C., in partnership with viaSport have worked with provincial sport and multisport organizations, child protection experts and federal counterparts to build robust accountability frameworks to address incidents of misconduct in the province’s amateur sport sector and protect those participating in sport from harm. This includes the development of the B.C. Universal Code of Conduct (BC UCC). As of October 15, 2021, it is mandatory for all viaSport funded organizations to include the BC UCC language in their policies.
- Commit to Kids: Commit to Kids (C2K) is a step-by-step program of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection that helps child-serving organizations create safe environments for the kids in their care. C2K Leader Training gives organizations the tools to create policies, procedures and employee codes of conduct to reduce the risk of child sexual abuse and create safe environments for children and youth in their care. Sport organizations funded by viaSport are required to ensure the appropriate staff and leadership, including Board Directors, complete this training.
- Respect in Sport: Respect in Sport champions the prevention of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD) in sport. The Respect in Sport Activity Leader/ Coach Program educates youth leaders, coaches, officials and participants (14-years and up) to recognize, understand and respond to issues of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD)
- Injury prevention and management: viaSport is committed to increasing education and awareness that will assist in gaining the knowledge and skills required to ensure the safety of athletes.
- Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) Safe Sport training: The Safe Sport Training module, developed by CAC, helps anyone involved in sport identify and prevent situations of maltreatment. It is part of the Responsible Coaching Movement, a call to action for sport organizations, parents, and coaches to enact responsible coaching across Canada on and off the field.
- Play Safe: viaSport is promoting a shared understanding of the behaviours we all want to see from everyone on and off the field of play. The resources on this page will help sport organizations and their members adopt and communicate these behaviours.
As part of our commitment to safe sport, all of our employees and board members undergo a Criminal Record Check before they join the organization and every three years after that. All of our staff are also required to complete Privacy Training to make sure that all data and information collected and stored at viaSport is handled correctly.
Our internal policies for staff and board members include the following policies that are relevant to safe sport:
How to report maltreatment by viaSport staff or Board Members
- You can report a complaint about a violation of the B.C. Universal Code of Conduct by viaSport staff or Board members directly to the viaSport CEO.
- If you have concerns or complaints related to the B.C. Universal Code of Conduct about viaSport staff or Board members, and are not comfortable reporting to the CEO, you can contact Lise Maclean at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 (613) 404-2000. viaSport has contracted her as an independent third party, to receive and investigate complaints.
You can report any concerns or complaints about any sport organization in B.C. or Canada to the National Sport Helpline (1-888-83SPORT, or www.abuse-free-sport.ca)
Ensuring sport experiences are positive requires participants are safe in sport. Sport experiences must be free from physical, emotional and mental harm.
INJURY PREVENTION AND CONCUSSIONS
More than 40 per cent of child and youth injuries treated in emergency departments are sport and recreation related. Concussions account for nearly 10 per cent of all injuries. Addressing the issues and providing education around prevention strategies is important to supporting healthy and successful participant development and performance.