Create a policy for safe and inclusive sport
A safeguarding policy helps your organization categorize issues and support and inform all involved parties on how to react if incidents regarding discrimination, bullying or inappropriate behaviour occur.All sports organizations should have a policy that ensures safe and inclusive sports. This policy should describe how to report issues and provide guidance on how to react.
Ideally, you should have a connection to the national federation, the national sport governing institutions, the national ethic centre for sport (or similar) or expertise organizations such as Safe Sport International to implement such policies.
The following principles apply to past, present and future athletes of all ages, abilities, social backgrounds and identities (source: Safe Sport International):
The welfare, safety and rights of all athletes are the central consideration in the administration and delivery of sport.
All sports organizations work with appropriate partners to prevent and respond to violence against athletes.
Sports organizations establish and disseminate relevant codes of ethics and conduct that will help prevent breaches of safe sport.
That all members of the athlete’s entourage, including officials, support staff and sports coaches, leaders and instructors, undergo appropriate education and training about safe practices as a condition of their qualification to operate, including the adoption of empowerment-based coaching styles
That all members of the athlete’s entourage, including officials, support staff and sports coaches, leaders and instructors, undergo appropriate background or criminal record checks and provide evidence of these to those responsible for hiring or recruitment
Educate and inform athletes about their rights and how to report concerns about their own or others’ safety
Ensure that reports of violence, and actions/practices by anyone in sports compromising the safety of athletes, are treated respectfully and investigated and acted upon promptly by appropriate authorities.
Offer processes with fair and transparent grievance and disciplinary systems and with precise suspension, sanctions and reinstatement procedures for individuals subject to complaints or allegations
Use Appropriate technology and communications to supplement support for athletes or anyone wishing to make and pursue a referral about a suspected breach of safe sport.
All breaches of safe sports are recorded and managed systematically, and use the data to research, evaluate and enhance safe practices.
The most significant part for such a policy to have a positive impact is:
everyone needs to be aware of it
the physical and mental security of athletes must be the number one priority
propper management for cases has to be in place
confidentiality and accessibility for reporting
every case is unique
You can find the policy of the World Flying Disc Federation here. The EUF is reviewing how to implement a system in a continent to create security for everyone.
Creating a policy is only one tiny step. Even more important is to have structures that can handle cases and information with the utmost integrity. Not having people responsibly taking care of raised situations will only deepen the harm and is not helpful for anyone. We want to raise awareness about this, and the EUF is still trying to figure out how to implement it in a meaningful and sustainable way.