In October of 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.
After establishing our own policy, USRowing asked all member organizations to join us in the SafeSport campaign to protect athletes across the country.
Beginning January 1, 2015, all USRowing member organizations were required to have their own athlete safety program. While the primary focus is to safeguard children, these policies extend to all age groups including masters and college level.
If your organization needs help in revising or strengthening you policy, 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 is at the local level. Organizations need to certify that they can provide USRowing with a copy of their policy and update their policy annually.
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 clicking this link.
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.
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.
A policy handbook outline provided by the USOC and designed for organizations to assimilate and use as a template is provided in the essential resources section below. 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.
Member ServicesUSRowing Participant Safety HandbookUSRowing's internal policies and participant safety handbook. Our SafeSport policies.
Member ServicesBackground Checks through NCSIDiscounted background checks through our partnership with the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI).
Member ServicesSafeSport TrainingEducating your coaches, parents, volunteers and leadership is key - click for free online SafeSport training.
Member ServicesUSRowing SafeSport Member Template (.pdf)The PDF-format of the USOC policy handbook to help organizations develop their SafeSport policy.
Member ServicesUSRowing SafeSport Member Template (.doc)The Word-format of the USOC policy handbook to help organizations develop their SafeSport policy.
Member ServicesBoard Policy Statement on SafeSportRead the full policy statement on SafeSport from the USRowing Board of Directors.