86 organizations join Abuse-Free Sport in its first year
MONTREAL, QC – Abuse-Free Sport (the Program) onboarded 86 Program Signatories in its first year of operation, including all federally-funded National Sport Organizations and several Multisport Service Organizations.
As a result, approximately 17,000 individuals at the national level are Abuse-Free Sport participants year-round, benefiting from the Program’s services and subject to the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS). An additional 60,000 participants will be added as they take part in national championships, while a further 70,000 are covered full-time at the provincial/territorial and club level through Volleyball Canada.
“We areo pleased with the progress to date, as we continue to sign more organizations into the Abuse-Free Sport program,” said Marie-Claude Asselin, Chief Executive Officer of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC). “More work is necessary to expand our reach into the broader sport system in Canada, so we are thrilled to see Nova Scotia, the first province Signatory, pave the way for other provinces and territories to possibly join our program allowing us to serve many more sport participants. We look forward to working with Nova Scotia as it plans to on-board its first provincial sporting organizations by year’s end.”
The Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC) received 193 Complaints in Year One, of which 66 were found to be under its jurisdiction. Twenty-two independent investigations were performed, five of which were completed as of June 30 and submitted to the Director of Sanctions and Outcomes for a decision of violation. Thirteen Provisional Measures (any temporary measures warranted under special circumstances at any stage of the Abuse-Free Sport Complaint Management process) were also imposed in this first year.
“We observed a broad range of participants concerned by alleged prohibited behaviours reported in Year One,” noted Sarah-Eve Pelletier, Sport Integrity Commissioner. “This speaks strongly to the necessary concerted efforts regarding safe sport, not only by Abuse-Free Sport but many others. Education regarding the UCCMS is also fundamental to create a strong understanding of the rules and expected behaviours in sport, prevent future maltreatment and support a positive shift in sport culture.”
The OSIC also initiated four Sport Environment Assessments (SEAs) that have progressed through different phases of the process, ranging from scoping to assessment engagement. “SEAs serve a dual function, addressing and preventing maltreatment, discrimination and other prohibited behaviours related to the UCCMS,” said Commissioner Pelletier. “These assessments are designed to identify and remedy alleged systemic issues with the goal of improving the sport environment for both current and future participants.”
Abuse-Free Sport also premiered its Webinar Series in Year One. The sessions address a wide range of areas, aiming to enhance understanding of the Program and its services, while also serving as a key education source with regard to safe sport. Registration is free and open to the public. Last year’s series reached a total of 654 registrants, and the 2023 series launched in July.
To view the Abuse-Free Sport Year One Report (June 20, 2022 – June 30, 2023), click here.
About Abuse-Free Sport
Abuse-Free Sport is an independent program responsible for upholding and administering the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS). Abuse-Free Sport seeks to influence a positive shift in Canada’s sport culture and to foster safe, inclusive and welcoming sport participation through a variety of prevention, response and engagement initiatives. The Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC) operates as an independent division of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) to administer the UCCMS as part of the Abuse-Free Sport program.
The SDRCC is a not-for-profit corporation created by federal legislation and funded by the Government of Canada. The mission of the SDRCC is to provide the sport community with a national alternative dispute resolution service and strengthen the culture of fairness in Canadian sport by resolving disputes quickly and efficiently and to provide expertise and assistance regarding alternative dispute resolution. The SDRCC is also mandated by the Government of Canada to implement an independent safe sport mechanism at the national level.
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