Canada Artistic Swimming: Immediate Action For Safe Training Environment

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Canada Artistic Swimming has completed an internal review of their National Training Centre.  This review was in response to multiple complaints of sexual harassment, bullying, racial and discriminatory statements, negligence and psychological abuse.  The review was completed by ITP Sport, a company selected by CAS executives.  The full report can be seen here: 

CAS INTERNAL REVIEW: REPORT/RESULTS

In the report produced by ITP it is clear that the following significant issues are prevalent in the training environment: 

  1. Have you experienced psychological abuse by coaches, staff or other athletes? 55% YES
  2. Have you experienced or witnessed discrimination by coaches staff or other athletes? The answer 73% YES
  3. Have you experienced or witnessed sexual or other forms of harassment by coaches, staff or athletes? The answer was 45% YES
  4. Do you feel safe to file a complaint? The answer was 45% NO

The action plan set out by CAS in response to the findings in the review is far below the acceptable level of intervention.  Here are the “next steps” presented by CAS President Judi Enns Bradette, CEO Jackie Buckingham and CSO Julie Healy:

  1. Four Zoom sessions with a psychologist for the athletes
  2. One coach/support staff education/training session
  3. Athlete safe sport training/orientation program
  4. Reschedule diversity and inclusion training session
  5. Athletes will continue to train separately
  6. NO STAFFING CHANGES WILL BE MADE AT THIS TIME

See responses from the sport community including:  Canadian Olympic Gold Medalist Sylvie Fréchette (Artistic Swimming); Canadian Olympic Gold Medalist Jean-Luc Brassard (Freestyle Skiing); Sylvain Croteau (Sport'Aide); former Canadian Olympic Coach Debbie Muir (Artistic Swimming).  Link below.

https://ici.radio-canada.ca/sports/1747170/natation-artistique-canada-critiques-plan-action-frechette-brassard-sportaide-croteau

The leadership and Board of Directors at CAS have failed to protect our athletes and are not taking this situation seriously. There needs to be an immediate staffing change to the senior management and executives at CAS. The Board members who have been involved at the operational level need to take responsibility and resign. 

The responsibility falls on CAS.  They MUST be held accountable.  The fear culture has been in existence for far too long.  Athletes, coaches, clubs, families, officials, and sport supporters: this is our opportunity to come together, break the silence, and impact change.  Let's build a better future for our athletes and sport.  Please sign and share.