Many have likely seen, heard or been made aware of the recent
sentencing of former sports medicine doctor, Larry Nassar.
As a member of our sport community, you might be asking yourself
how this could have happened and what we can do to prevent this
from ever happening again.
We – coaches, athletes, parents, officials, volunteers, team
leaders, and sport leaders – can commit to prevention and we
can commit to speaking up. We can commit to Safe
Safe Sport is something we do, every day on every deck. The key to
prevention is to create an environment where all members know the
rules, are comfortable talking about them, and are empowered to
recognize and report red flag behavior, boundary violations, and
How do you create a Safe Sport environment? What does it mean to
have a culture of safety?
How do you ‘do’ Safe Sport?
Be intentional. Learn how to make your team a Safe Sport
Get started. Use the
Safe Sport Team Checklist
to know what you already have covered and what else you could
be doing to keep kids safe.
Know who you’re working with! Conduct thorough screening of
employees and volunteers. USA Swimming member clubs can use the
free online member resource
to create job descriptions, interview questions, reference
checks, and more.
Learn the risks and address them with your team’s rules.
Familiarize yourself with the
USA Swimming Code of Conduct
and adopt the
Safe Sport Best Practices
as team rules. Make your team’s policies and response
procedures easily available to all team members on your
. Use enthusiastic and frequent communication to teach your
team’s members about Safe Sport. Talk about your team’s
values and the behaviors that support and reinforce them.
Safe Sport Club Coordinator
for your team to oversee the Safe Sport effort, communicate
with coaches, parents, and athletes, and be connected to the LSC,
Zone, and national Safe Sport volunteers for support and
Make talking about Safe Sport with athletes a regular conversation.
Safe Sport Mondays
with 11&Over athletes to facilitate discussion around
specific situations and how to report concerns. Distribute
Safe Sport Activity Book
to your 10&Unders to introduce Safe Sport basics and
encourage positive team culture.
Create a Safe Sport environment at swim meets, too! Use
Safe Sport Meet Resource Guide
to plan your meet and keep coaches, athletes and spectators
up to speed during the meet with
. You have spent time and energy to create a culture of safety
– Protect it! When something comes up, address it and correct
it right away.
Recognize. Red flag behaviors and boundary violations are small
chips in your team’s culture that can become big problems if
left to fester. Call out and correct these behaviors immediately
and encourage all team members to do the same.
Respond. When a club policy violation comes to your attention, take
appropriate action. Be quick to acknowledge the report and take
immediate steps to restore safety. Then, diligently collect all the
information necessary to determine a thoughtful, informed course of
action consistent with your team’s policies.
Report. If you become aware of misconduct or abuse, you are
required to report it. Know what to report where. Child abuse
or neglect, including child sexual abuse, should be reported
immediately to local law enforcement. Violations of the SafeSport
Code must be reported to the
US Center for Safe Sport
. Violations of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct can be