July 7, 2015
USA Swimming’s Safe Sport Launches Online Anti-Bullying Training
Free program includes resources for teams to adopt anti-bullying safety plans
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:
· How to define bullying
· Why bullying is a problem
· What the different types of bullying are
· How bullying happens
· How to prevent an athlete from being bullied
· How to manage conflict between the individuals involved
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
USA Swimming has partnered with Praesidium, a leading provider in the field of child protection, to produce and distribute comprehensive athlete protection education programming. USA Swimming requires mandatory athlete education training programs for non-athlete members.