As a key contributor to Canada's world-leading Olympic and Paralympic podium performances, the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary) is reinforcing its commitment to the Responsible Coaching Movement (RCM), in the wake of recent and continued cases of abuse in the sport sector.
The RCM is a national campaign against abuse in sport coordinated by the Coaching Association of Canada that aims to comprehensively shield Canadian athletes at all levels from psychological, physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
“We acknowledge that there are problems in the sport sector, and it’s regrettable it continues,” says Dale Henwood, President and CEO at CSI Calgary. “At CSI Calgary we understand the need for constant awareness of this issue and the willingness to talk about it. We have taken many steps to implement the tenets of the pledge and continue to work closely with our staff to ensure that we provide a safe, positive environment for athletes and coaches.”
Key areas of focus for implementing the first phase of the RCM include:
1. The Rule of Two, which rule serves to protect minor athletes in potentially vulnerable situations by ensuring that more than one adult is present.
2. Background Screening to ensure coaches and volunteers meet the necessary security requirements to coach or work with athletes, comprehensive job postings, criminal record checks, interviews, and reference checks.
3. Respect and Ethics Training, which aims to increase coaches’ ethical conduct and ethical behaviour toward athletes.
As recent cases of abuse have come to light, CSI Calgary has taken great steps to re-establish existing harassment and whistle blowing policies that encourage staff to speak openly about any issues that arise as well as continuing to implement the cornerstone principles of the RCM.
Most recently, CSI Calgary staff have completed Respect in the Workplace certificates. CSI Calgary is also working on establishing guidelines for the Rule of Two, one RCM step to responsible coaching, which ensures that an athlete is never alone with their coach.
Director of Coaching at CSI Calgary, Jason Sjostrom, says the pledge was taken with the intent that the organization sees itself as an intersection with a number of National Sport Organizations (NSOs) and recognizes that it plays a key role in safeguarding a safe, healthy environment that protects athletes, coaches, service providers and parents.
This approach is aligned with CSI Calgary’s five core values, including integrity, which it maintains as a cornerstone of who and what the CSI Calgary is. Never has the integrity of CSI Calgary’s individual and collective behaviours been more essential to ensuring a safe, healthy environment for Canada’s top athletes.
“At the end of the day we want all participants in sport, at any level, to have a good, enjoyable, positive experience,” says Henwood. “We know there is an opportunity to be better and CSI Calgary is steadfastly committed to making this happen.”
Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Kristina Groves: @kngrover