Posts in Respect in Sport

Former NHLer, sex abuse survivor Sheldon Kennedy applauds new rule that makes reporting abuse in sports a priority

July 4th, 2018 General News, Respect in Sport, Sheldon Kennedy

CALGARY—Former NHL hockey player and sex abuse survivor Sheldon Kennedy says that a recent federal announcement requiring sports bodies to report and investigate abuse allegations is a constructive step toward child and youth safety.

On June 19, sport minister Kirsty Duncan announced the new requirement. National sports bodies that receive federal money “must immediately disclose any incident of abuse, discrimination or harassment to the Minister of Sport,” she said……

…Hockey Calgary executive director Kevin Kobelka is also supportive of the announcement.

The minor hockey association he helps manage covers male and female hockey players from the Timbits age group (four and five years old) up to junior-B hockey (16 to 21 years old).

“(We) were the first organization to implement Respect in Sport since 2010,” he said. “Hockey Alberta followed suit and mandated its training after.”

The training program is part of a larger group co-founded by Kennedy called Respect Group Inc. Its goal is to empower people in sports to recognize and prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination.

The Calgary hockey association requires all coaches to take Respect in Sport’s training program and, starting this year, to get recertified every four years Kobelka said. MORE

RESPECT GROUP APPLAUDS MINISTER DUNCAN’S ANNOUNCEMENT OF FUNDING AGREEMENTS TO END ABUSE, HARASSMENT + DISCRIMINATION IN SPORT

June 19th, 2018 Press Releases, Respect in Sport

 

June 19, 2018
For Immediate Release

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, announced stronger measures to eliminate harassment in the Canadian sport system.

“All Canadians deserve to participate and compete in a sport environment, free from harassment, abuse or discrimination, regardless of gender, race, religion, language, age and ability. The Government of Canada recognizes the presence of harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport and is committed to stopping further instances.”

New provisions in funding agreements will support eligible sport organizations in fostering healthy and safe workplace environments.

Effective immediately:

 

  • Federally funded sport organizations must take all necessary measures to create a workplace free from harassment, abuse or discrimination of any kind.
  • They must immediately disclose any incident of harassment, abuse or discrimination that could compromise the project or programming to the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.
  • They must make provisions—within their governance framework—for access to an independent third party to address harassment and abuse cases.
  • They must provide mandatory training on harassment and abuse to their members by April 1, 2020 and are challenged to make this a priority and put mandatory training in place as soon as possible.

 

“Harassment of any kind is completely unacceptable, and the safety and security of athletes, coaches and officials is always our top priority. We all must play a role in protecting our young people and our athletes: to speak up when we see something that doesn’t seem quite right and to listen—really listen—to our athletes. And most importantly, to act when the situation demands it to ensure our athletes always have the support they need from us.”

—The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

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Respect Group was incorporated on April 5th, 2004 by co-founders, Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil, to pursue their common passion: the prevention of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD). Offering certification programs for Community/Sport Organizations (Respect in Sport), Schools and the Workplace, Respect Group has certified over 1,000,000 Canadians.

 

We welcome and encourage sport organizations to view our programs at: www.respectinsport.com

For more information please email: info@respectgroupinc.com

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FOR ABUSE-FREE SPORT: UNANIMOUS MOTION AT THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY Quebec is the first province to react

June 12th, 2018 Press Releases, Respect in Sport

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

Quebec City, Quebec, June 12, 2018 – This morning, four of Bertrand Charest’s 12 victims, Geneviève Simard, Anna Prchal, Gail Kelly and Émilie Cousineau, accompanied by JD Miller, B2ten president and co-founder, and Dominick Gauthier, B2ten co-founder and program director, attended the National Assembly of Quebec. On this occasion, the Minister of Education, Leisure and Sport (MELS) filed a motion to develop a government plan to prevent all forms of sexual, physical and psychological abuse in sport.

 

Adopted unanimously in a spirit of non-partisanship, the motion calls for the MELS to implement an action plan by 2020. The 12 victims asked that the plan contain the following:

  • an amendment to the province’s sport federation recognition program (PQRFSQ) requiring that an action plan be adopted and submitted to prevent physical, psychological, emotional and sexual abuse in sport in Quebec;
  • mandatory training for coaches, athletes, volunteers and all other persons in contact with athletes;
  • accountability on the part of sport federations;
  • clearly defined policies and procedures to protect athletes;
  • a safe and independent approach to allow athletes and others in the sport world to report incidents;
  • an independent body to investigate complaints;
  • that the federations’ funding be contingent on compliance with the action

 

“This is an important day for the 12 victims, who have acted with determination to shine a spotlight on this significant problem in our society. The Government of Quebec has heard them and taken the necessary measures to prevent all forms of abuse in sport,” said JD Miller. “On behalf of B2ten, I would like to thank all the members of the National Assembly. Your unanimous adoption of this motion sends a strong, clear message to the other provinces and territories, and to Ottawa.”

 

“I’m extremely proud that I’ve been able to help make a difference in protecting athletes, regardless of their sport. It wasn’t easy to relive those moments, but knowing that regulations will be put in place to prevent abuse makes it worthwhile,” said Geneviève Simard.

 

“We decided to speak publicly because of all the encouragement we received from parents and other athletes. With an action plan to prevent all forms of abuse, I would feel more comfortable letting my children join a sport federation one day,” said Gail Kelly. “This past week has been particularly emotional. We received truly incredible, comforting support. You can tell that this issue strikes a chord with Quebecers and Canadians. I know that going public was the right choice now that I see things moving in the right direction,” said Anna Prchal.

 

“If our story inspires others to confide in someone, to seek help, that’s a victory in itself. With a program in place, athletes will be better protected,” said Émilie Cousineau.

 

“Quebec has always been a leader in amateur sport development. This was clearly demonstrated this morning. We hope that the other provinces and the federal government will quickly follow suit so that all athletes can practice sport in an abuse-free environment,” stated JD Miller.

 

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For information

 

French media:       English media:

Marie-Christine Garon                                        Colin Danby

NATIONAL Public Relations                               NATIONAL Public Relations

mcgaron@national.ca                                        cdanby@national.ca

514-409-0031                                                      514-679-1622

Canadian athletes speak out in Calgary to end abuse in sport

June 8th, 2018 Activity Leaders, General News, Parents, Respect in Sport

Two victims of former Canadian National ski coach, Bertrand Charest, are calling for sweeping changes to end sexual abuse in sport and were in the city on Friday to share their stories with Calgarians.

Former professional skiers Genevieve Simard and Amelie-Frederique Gagnon are among several women who were sexually assaulted by Charest….

The two women are advocating for a protection program that includes mandatory training for all coaches, volunteers, and everyone in the entourage of an athlete.

“The reason we wanted to come out in the public eye on Monday and give our press conference is to give the biggest impact possible to put a face on the twelve of us and what has happened and we want to create awareness to everybody in the country because we want to ensure that safe, that sports become safe for our children, for the next generation and that’s why we’re doing this. We want to take this horrible chapter in our lives and we want to turn it into something positive and that’s making sure these kinds of abuse never happen again and we need the government in helping us achieve that,” said Simard. MORE

RESPECT GROUP CALLS FOR GREATER ACCOUNTABILITY TO KEEP CANADIAN SPORT FREE FROM MALTREATMENT

June 8th, 2018 Activity Leaders, General News, Parents, Press Releases, Respect in Sport

 

Voir plus bas pour la version en français

 

June 6, 2018

Respect Group commends the bravery of the former members of the National Ski Team, Amélie-Frédérique Gagnon, Gail Kelly, Anna Prchal and Geneviève Simard and the many other women who have come forward to disclose their stories and share their collective goal in calling for safer sport. They represent a multitude of past victims and their voices have already inspired other courageous individuals to come forward.

 

Respect Group also applauds the leadership of B2Ten, the Coaching Association of Canada, the Sport Dispute and Resolution Centre of Canada and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection for bringing this critical topic to the forefront and advocating for sport that is free from maltreatment. These recommendations include;

 

  • Mandatory online training as to rights, responsibilities, obligations and awareness for athletes, coaches, professional service providers and management;
  • Development, adoption and adherence of Policies and Procedures to prevent all forms of maltreatment;
  • An independent avenue for parties to raise concerns when issues arise;
  • The rule of two; insuring, within reason, that young athletes are not left on their own with a coach, staff or other personnel for an extended duration.

 

 

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Respect Group was incorporated on April 5th, 2004 by co-founders, Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil, to pursue their common passion: the prevention of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD). Offering certification programs for Community/Sport Organizations (Respect in Sport), Schools and the Workplace, Respect Group has certified over 1,000,000 Canadians.

 

 

 

RESPECT GROUP EN APPELLE À UNE PLUS GRANDE IMPUTABILITÉ POUR GARDER LE SPORT CANADIEN À L’ABRI DE LA MALTRAITANCÉ

 

6 juin 2018

Respect Group salue la bravoure des anciens membres de l’équipe nationale de ski, Amélie-Frédérique Gagnon, Gail Kelly, Anna Prchal et Geneviève Simard et les nombreuses autres femmes qui ont dévoilé leur histoire et partagé leur objectif commun en réclamant une sécurité accrue en sport. Elles  représentent une multitude de victimes passées, et leurs voix ont déjà inspiré d’autres personnes courageuses à se manifester.

 

Respect Group applaudit également le leadership de B2dix, l’Association canadienne des entraîneurs, le Centre de règlement des différends sportifs du Canada et le Centre canadien de protection de l’enfance pour avoir porté ce sujet critique au premier plan et exigé un sport exempt de  maltraitance. Ces recommandations comprennent :

 

  • Une formation en ligne obligatoire sur les droits, les responsabilités, les obligations et la sensibilisation des athlètes, des entraîneurs, des fournisseurs de services professionnels et de la direction;
  • L’élaboration, l’adoption et l’adhésion aux politiques et procédures visant à prévenir toutes les formes de maltraitance;
  • Un canal indépendant offert à toutes les parties pour partager les préoccupations lorsque des problèmes surviennent;
  • La règle de deux : s’assurer, dans la mesure du possible, que les jeunes athlètes ne soient pas seuls avec un entraîneur ou tout membre du personnel pendant une période prolongée.

 

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Respect Group a été constitué le 5 avril 2004 par les cofondateurs Sheldon Kennedy et Wayne McNeil pour poursuivre une passion commune: la prévention de l’intimidation, de l’abus, du harcèlement et de la discrimination. Offrant des programmes de certification pour les organismes communautaires / sportifs (Respect et sport), les écoles et le milieu de travail, Respect Group a certifié plus de 1,000,000 de Canadiens.

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Women abused by ex-national ski coach want better safeguards to protect young athletes

June 5th, 2018 Respect in Sport

It robbed them of their childhoods, their ambition, their dreams.

Now four women who remained in the shadows even as they stepped forward to condemn their abuser because of court-ordered publication bans, stepped into the light to try and ensure no other young athletes suffers the same fate.

With trembling voices, each of the four women — Amélie-Frédérique Gagnon, Gail Kelly, Anna Prchal and Geneviève Simard — described how their lives were forever altered by the actions of their former ski coach, Bertrand Charest, convicted of abusing them when they were young competitive skiers in the 1990s. MORE

How to Avoid Burnout in Youth Sports

May 14th, 2018 Respect in Sport

How to Avoid Burnout in Youth Sports

 

Few would dispute the value to children of participating in sports, organized or otherwise. Being physically active and engaged in friendly competition is widely acknowledged to be good for children’s physical, mental and social well-being. It can foster discipline, cooperation and camaraderie as well as a good time. MORE

Fear, greed, broken dreams: How early sports specialization is eroding youth sports

April 2nd, 2018 Parents

Fear, greed, broken dreams: How early sports specialization is eroding youth sports

These days, alas, the fun in youth sports is rapidly fading, the dreams of children replaced by the ambitions of adults.

As the system has become increasingly more “adultified,” there has been an atrophy of equal value in the numbers of children playing sports. A U.S. poll showed a 70 per cent attrition rate of children who quit sports for life by the age of 13, most of whom cited a lack of fun as their reason. MORE

Kennedy’s Mission Continues

March 6th, 2018 General News, Respect in Sport, Swift Current

Kennedy’s Mission Continues

“…Two decades after his courageous journey, Kennedy is taking his message of hope and healing across Canada once again, this time with a series of Q and A’s and public viewings of Director Joshua Rofe’s masterpiece ‘Swift Current’. The film depicts Kennedy’s personal journey along with two other victims of childhood sexual abuse. Kennedy is undoubtedly the busiest child advocate in North America, but he wouldn’t want it any other way. “I think everyone would say they have a hectic schedule, in my case, I am passionate about the issues we deal with, and I want to have an impact, that is what keeps me going,” explained Kennedy. MORE

Sheldon Kennedy Sees History Repeating With Nassar Case

March 6th, 2018 Activity Leaders, Parents, Respect in Sport, Sheldon Kennedy

Sheldon Kennedy Sees History Repeating With Nassar Case

For more than two decades, Nassar, who also ran a gymnastics clinic at Michigan State University, used his position of power and trust to prey on vulnerable children. Each account of sexual abuse further exposed a culture of ignorance and victim blaming within competitive sport.The enormity of Nassar crimes seems unfathomable. That he wasn’t stopped sooner is unconscionable. There weren’t just red flags. There were flashing lights and sirens. And they were ignored again and again. And as those wrenching accounts of sexual abuse were shared at Nassar’s sentencing, Sheldon Kennedy saw history repeatingMORE

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