As part of US Sailing’s continuing effort to ensure safe environments for young sailors, we have an important update for our member organizations regarding the SafeSport program that will enhance the sailing community’s ability to proactively address instances of abuse and misconduct in our sport. US Sailing’s goal is to provide the sailing community with tools and support to maintain safe environments, eliminate abuse and misconduct and, if problems do occur, address them quickly and with clarity.
In February 2018, the United States Congress enacted the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act (the “Safe Sport Act”). Among the provisions in the federal law was Congressional appointment of the U.S. Center for SafeSport (the “Center”) to act as the independent investigatory and policy-making body overseeing the fight against sexual and physical abuse and misconduct within the Olympic sport movement.
The Center works with National Governing Bodies (“NGBs”), including US Sailing and other Olympic disciplines, as well as NGB members, to enforce the SafeSport Code as well as the federal Safe Sport Act, both of which are aimed at protecting athletes from abuse. The Center ensures all NGBs follow the strictest standards for child abuse prevention and detection.
To that end, US Sailing is committed to working with and supporting our members around these critical issues and ensuring all members of the sailing community understand the role they play in creating a safe environment free of sexual and physical abuse and misconduct for all sailors.
The SafeSport training course developed by the Center is one aspect of the Olympic movement’s holistic athlete safety initiative. The course is intended to educate members of the sporting community on how to be an informed advocate for athlete safety. Upon completion of the course, your community will have a deeper understanding of how and when to report suspected or known instances of abuse and misconduct and how to recognize early signs of abuse and dangerous “grooming” behavior. Having your community SafeSport Trained provides the peace of mind that your organization possesses the best tools and knowledge needed to protect children and all sailors from abuse. In addition to protecting members of the sailing community, a robust SafeSport program protects sailing organizations by demonstrating industry leading safety practices and standards of care.
Under the Center’s policies, all adult members of US Sailing or a US Sailing member organization who have “regular contact” with or “authority” over minors must complete the SafeSport training course. These adults may include staff, members, and volunteers who work with your organization’s youth participants. Many of these adults may already be SafeSport trained through their work as US Sailing certified instructors or race officers.
In order to promote the safety and well-being of youth sailors, it is the responsibility of each yacht club, community sailing center, and all other US Sailing member organizations to ensure that adults regularly serving in authority positions over minors during organizational programming have completed the SafeSport training course.
In support of this mission US Sailing has made the SafeSport training course free for all of our individual members. Additionally, all US Sailing member organizations now have access to complimentary SafeSport trainings for use by the organization’s staff and volunteers who do not possess a US Sailing membership. We encourage our member organizations to utilize this benefit to ensure as many people in our sport as possible have access to this valuable SafeSport tool.
For more information on how to access these complimentary trainings, please contact Deb Rainey at 401.342.7901 or email@example.com.
Additionally, US Sailing features numerous resources to help members maintain a culture free from abuse and misconduct. This “SafeSport Toolkit” of industry best practices will assist your club or organization in implementing policies and procedures that protect all members from abuse and misconduct.
To access the SafeSport Toolkit, click here.
Thank you for all you do for our sport and ensuring all sailors are safe and secure on and off the water. For any questions about US Sailing’s SafeSport program, please contact Justin Sterk at 401.342.7938 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The U.S. Center for SafeSport is an independent nonprofit headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The Center provides a safe, professional and confidential place for individuals to report sexual misconduct within the U.S. Olympic Movements. The Center also provides resources on abuse prevention and policies.
For more information please visit www.safesport.org.