The NOVA of Virginia Aquatics is committed to protecting your swimmers by following the Safe Sport Guidelines defined by USA Swimming. We encourage you to read the materials on the USA Swimming web site and summarized below, and we encourage you to contact Coach Geoff, or NOVA's safe sport rep MC Thomas if you have any concerns.
Mission Statement: USA Swimming is committed to safeguarding the well‐being of all of its members, with the welfare of its athlete members as the top priority.
USA Swimming believes that every member should have a safe, healthy, fun sport environment.
USA Swimming believes that every young person should be protected from abuse and safe from harm.
USA Swimming believes that all non‐athlete members share a collective responsibility to protect our membership.
USA Swimming will make available training for all members to increase awareness and understanding of athlete protection policies and best practices. USA Swimming will provide a process for members to recognize and respond to any Safe Sport issues that arise.
USA Swimming will provide resources, information, and guidance on Safe Sport related issues to all members, including coaches, parents and athletes.
USA Swimming will treat all allegations of abuse or concerns regarding athlete safety seriously and will respond appropriately and as prescribed by the USA Swimming Rules and Regulations.
USA Swimming is committed to fostering a fun, healthy and safe environment for all of its members. For that reason, USA Swimming has in place a detailed Code of Conduct. The following rules, policies, reporting structure, education and tools are intended to serve our members as we work together to maintain this environment.
For questions or concerns, please contact USA Swimming's Director of Safe Sport, Susan Woessner, or the Safe Sport Program CoordinatorLiz Hoendervoogt. Susan and Liz oversee USA Swimming's efforts to foster safe and positive training environments.
Safe Sport Handbook
The Safe Sport Handbook is now available. Download it here.
First Line of Defense
Background checks and pre-employment screens are critical tools to selecting the best possible people for staff and volunteer positions by USA Swimming clubs. All NOVA coaches, officials, and volunteers must satisfactorily pass a criminal background check in order to become non-athlete members of USA Swimming. Additionally, all USA Swimming clubs must perform three required pre-employment screens on any new employee.
The USA Swimming Safe Sport Program is proud to offer free athlete protection training to the parents of our member athletes. Parents are a critical component to our 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.
Please take the USA Swimming Free Parent Training to learn more.
Recognizing and Reporting
USA Swimming requires the reporting of sexual misconduct by any member and strongly encourages reporting boundary violations, red flag behavior, and any other inappropriate conduct.
If you have been the victim of abuse or are have questions about your situation, please contact Safe Sport Program staff, Susan Woessner or Liz Hoendervoogt, who can help answer any questions you may have.
The USA Swimming Code of Conduct requires any individual with credible information involving sexual misconduct to report that information to our Safe Sport Program staff. Providing specific information regarding abuse or suspected abuse helps USA Swimming to investigate the complaint, and, when appropriate, levy consequences, including revocation of membership.
Child abuse and child sexual abuse is a crime. If USA Swimming receives a complaint of sexual misconduct involving a minor, we will report it to the proper authorities. We urge all individuals to do the same.
Out of respect for the importance of this issue and to encourage honest and effective reporting, knowingly false or vindictive reporting will not be tolerated.
If you want to speak to someone immediately, contact USA Swimming's Director of Safe Sport, Susan Woessner, at email@example.com or 719-866-3589 or Safe Sport Program Coordinator, Liz Hoendervoogt, firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-866-3542.