July 10, 2015
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Swimming and its Safe Sport program are committed to fostering a fun, healthy, and safe environment for all of its members. To help increase awareness and reduce the risk of abuse, Safe Sport has launched a new online course to help parents and coaches identify and address bullying behaviors.
The online program is free for USA Swimming non-athlete members. It can be accessed at www.usaswimming.org/SafeSport. Lessons include:
Bullying behaviors lead to a negative team environment if not handled properly and quickly. Unfortunately, they can be alarmingly normal in youth sports settings.
“We have learned that education is arguably the most effective tool in athlete protection, including in bullying prevention,” said Susan Woessner, USA Swimming Director of Safe Sport. “We are committed to fostering a fun, healthy, and safe environment for all of our members. Part of the education process is to help our 400,000 members identify potential bullying, report questionable behavior and, most importantly, prevent it from happening in the first place.”
Accompanying the anti-bullying training is access to resources for swim teams to prevent or address bullying – including a model anti-bullying plan, a peer-to-peer safety plan, and a scenario guide to assist coaches with recognizing bullying behaviors.
“USA Swimming’s first priority is to protect our members. This is a partnership between our national office, clubs, coaches, parents and the athletes,” said USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus. “Safe Sport has demonstrated an organization-wide commitment to setting the standard for athlete protection. This anti-bullying course continues to further that commitment by providing valuable tools to reduce the risk of abusive situations.”
The success of USA Swimming’s Safe Sport program revolves around six core areas:
- Policies & Guidelines
- Screening & Selection
- Training & Education
- Monitoring and Supervision
- Recognizing, Reporting and Responding
- Grassroots Engagement & Feedback