Incident Over the Weekend at the Meet
May 14, 2019
I wanted to alert you to an incident that occurred this weekend, highlight the appropriate response, and commend Angela Davis and Jan Van Nimwegen for their efforts to protect our athletes (and other community members).
On Sunday, May 12, an official on deck at a meet at Claude Moore Recreation Center overheard an athlete state that a young adult male had invaded the women’s locker room. The attentive official wisely brought the information to the attention of the Meet Director (Angela Davis) and Meet Referee (Jan Van Nimwegen). Angela and Jan spoke to the facility director who confirmed that a young adult male had been spotted in the women’s locker room, and had run out. Angela and Jan immediately jumped into action to protect the athletes (and others) at the meet. They alerted the marshals, had marshals positioned at the entrance of the locker rooms, increased the presence of marshals in the spectator section, and had marshals regularly sweep the locker rooms to ensure that everything was clear. Angela and Jan also called an impromptu coaches meeting and suggested that the coaches advise the athletes to use the buddy system when using the locker room. The Loudon County Sherriff’s department was contacted, and when the police arrived they interviewed witnesses, and walked the facility to ensure everything was safe. Fortunately, there were no further incidents, and everyone remained safe.
I send this email summarizing the incident for three reasons:
(1) to remind everyone that we must be vigilant on deck. Listen to what’s happening around you. It sounds cliché, but if you see (or hear) something, say something. Keep the meet officials, directors and facility staff informed of what’s happening on deck and in the facility;
(2) to point out that the manner in which Angela and Jan handled this event was prompt, thoughtful, and effective. We can all use this as a guide for future incidents, and to aid our learning process. Notably, this proves that we must take efforts to monitor locker rooms, and that marshals are an important part of how we keep people safe;
(3) to commend Angela Davis and Jan Van Nimwegen on their actions and thoughtfulness. This is an example of how we work together as a community, and keep people safe. Well done!
Thank you all. I appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to our athletes and community members.
Chair – PVS Safe Sport