Introduction to SafeSport
In October, 2013, USRowing adopted new internal policies surrounding SafeSport and joined the United States Olympic Committee in its SafeSport campaign aimed at raising awareness, stopping child abuse in sport and creating a safe culture in sports programs across the country.
USRowing’s program was designed to assure athletes’ safety at our team camps and our sanctioned events, promoting an environment free from bullying, hazing, harassment (including sexual harassment), emotional misconduct, physical misconduct and sexual misconduct (including child sexual abuse).
Working with the USOC, the program we developed is based on education and training, as well as reporting and enforcement policies that include criminal background checks. Our staff, coaches and volunteers who work on the front line with athletes are now part of this SafeSport process. Click on the link below to see USRowing’s internal policies.
USRowing Internal Policies and Participant Safety Handbook (May 1, 2014)
Now, we are asking that all of our member organizations join us in the SafeSport campaign to protect athletes across the country.
By December 31, 2014, USRowing member organizations will need to adopt an athlete safety program. While our primary focus is to safeguard children, our policies will extend to all age groups including masters and college level.
If your organization already has a policy in place, fantastic! As long as it meets the minimum components, your current policy may be used.
If you organization doesn’t have a policy in place or your current policy needs some revision, USRowing has numerous resources, including policy guidelines, a SafeSport guidebook, access to background checks and free SafeSport training, available to help you through the process.
Athlete Safety Program
The minimum components to the athlete safety program include addressing the six prohibited conducts: bullying, hazing, harassment (including sexual harassment), emotional misconduct, physical misconduct and sexual misconduct (including child sexual abuse); criminal background checks; education and training; reporting; and enforcement.
Implementation will be at the local level. Organizations will need to certify that they can provide USRowing with a copy of their policy and update their policy annually.
Click here to read the full policy statement from the USRowing Board of Directors.
USRowing has partnered with the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) to bring your organization discounted background checks for $20 (additional county fees may apply) for all employees and volunteers working with athletes. Your organization can get started by visiting the NCSI page on the USRowing website or by visiting this link: https://www.ncsisafe.com/members/NewAccount.aspx?pid=UNIT2052.
After registering your organization through the online form, NCSI will contact you directly to finalize the application.
Education and Training
Educating your coaches, parents, volunteers and leadership is a critical component to a successful plan. Through our partnership with the USOC, USRowing is offering free SafeSport training online at: http://training.teamusa.org/store/details/1.
To access the training:
1. Click link.
2. Click "add to bag"
3. Click "checkout"
4. Click register and then complete the form, making sure to select Rowing on the drop down list.
Upon completion, the trainee will receive a PDF certificate of completion and his or her name will be added to the list of those who completed the program via USRowing. Completed certificates can be kept on file by the member organization.
SafeSport education also is part of our coaching education program, so all coaches seeking Level 1 or Level 2 certification will go through the USOC’s SafeSport training.
Below is a policy handbook outline provided by the USOC and designed for organizations to assimilate and use as a template. Specific policy sections that you can use directly in your organization’s manual are in a black font, while the “manual” portion of the handbook that includes the elements, the what and the why that a SafeSport policy should include is in a blue font. After your organization has drafted a policy, it is important to have it vetted to ensure that it meets all of the state’s legal requirements.
USRowing SafeSport Member Template (.pdf)
USRowing SafeSport Member Template (.doc)