Safe Sport - Protecting Athletes:
We believe that the experience of children and young athletes in all organized sports should be guided by what is best for the safe and healthy development of the young person. Young athletes who participate in organized sports activities have a unique opportunity for learning. In working with each child, it is essential that we are mindful of their physical, emotional, and developmental needs. We must also be particularly diligent in recognizing the unique vulnerabilities that are an inherent part of childhood. It is the responsibility of all adults to not only recognize these vulnerabilities, but to develop the knowledge and skills needed to create and maintain a safe and child- centered sports environment.
We recognize the important role that USA Swimming plays in providing leadership and creating an organizational culture that is focused on the safety and wellbeing of young people. The protection of children requires that all adults work together to support young athletes. As the child’s first and enduring resource for safety, parents and guardians play a critical role in athlete protection. When parents participate they are able to help educate other adults about the needs of the child, and help prepare the child to participate in sports programs in a way that promotes safety, enjoyment, and learning.
Adults, including coaches, officials, staff, facility workers, volunteers, chaperones, and others who interact with children, are in also positions of great trust and influence. The ability to use this position of trust to support the well-being of children is critical. The overwhelming majority of these adults fulfill their roles in a positive and responsible manner. Nonetheless, we must also understand that a few adults may seek to use the trust and authority that comes with their access and status to take advantage of a child.
USA Swimming strives to continually improve the programs and services it offers to its members and among these some of the most important relate to the safeguards for protecting young athletes. Because we aspire to foster safe and positive environments within all our member clubs, we believe it is especially important to provide our member adult leaders with policies and best practice guidelines that help define elements of appropriate behavior and conduct.
For More Information Concerning Safe Sport; please click here.
For the USA Swimming Safe Sport Manual; please click here.
Athlete Protection Education:
USA Swimming is committed to raising awareness about prevention of abuse in sport. USA Swimming is proud to partner with Praesidium, an industry expert in abuse prevention, to bring the swimming community customized and comprehensive training tools for coaches, volunteers and parents. Customized training for athletes is available now.
Their training tools will help you:
- Understand the scope and effects of abuse in sport
- Recognize the signs of grooming behavior and boundary violations
- Understand how to establish boundaries and protect against false allegations
- Know how to react and report when you suspect abuse
Free Training For Parents:
The USA Swimming Safe Sport Program is proud to offer free athlete protection training to the parents of their member athletes. Parents are a critical component to USA Swimming's overall goal to protecting children from sexual abuse. The comprehensive online programming includes information about how offenders operate; how to recognize and respond to boundary violations, myths and facts about child sexual abuse and USA Swimming’s Athlete Protection Policies and Procedures. For Free Athlete Protection Training For Parents, click here. FYI, our LSC is Virginia, our Club Code is RAYS.
Free Training for Athletes:
USA Swimming has developed a free education program for athlete ages 12-18.
Click the link below to learn about:
- Inappropriate contact
- Physical, emotional, and behavioral boundaries
- What to do if your boundaries are violated
- Who to tell
- How USA Swimming can be a resource for you
By learning how to protect yourselves, you also learn how to protect your peers; and together we can make the sport safer for everyone. For Free Athlete Protection Training for Athletes, click here. FYI, our LSC is Virginia, our Club Code is RAYS.
Safe Sport Athlete Fellowship:
To: High School Age Athletes
iThe Safe Sport Athlete Fellowship is accepting applications through 10/28. The Fellowship is a year-long leadership development program for 4 selected high school-aged athletes who wish to gain leadership skills, be more involved in the Safe Sport movement, and become a liaison between USA Swimming national headquarters and local swim clubs. During the year, athletes are tasked with creating and launching a project to spread the message of Safe Sport (positive team cultures, anti-bullying, active bystander) within their swim club, as well as other clubs in their LSC. This year's fellows have done a variety of things, including a video campaign, a themed relay meet, a reward program, and an athlete committee.
There is a travel component to the Fellowship, and the 2017 class will kick off in Denver in January. By the end of the year, fellows will have worked through a leadership development curriculum, independently launched a project, and been embedded in USA Swimming in a unique way. Fellows will have a deep understanding of Safe Sport and be active advocates of the program in their home clubs and LSCs.
The announcement for the 2017 class is attached, and more information, as well as the application, can be found at www.usaswimming.org/protect.
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