B.C., viaSport take steps to make amateur sport safer

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  • The Province and viaSport are improving safety in sports by continuing
    to provide education about safe sport, and by taking steps toward an
    independent complaints process for B.C.’s amateur sport sector.
    “Everyone deserves to have positive experiences in sport so they can
    benefit from the incredible power of active living, and improve physical
    and mental well-being,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts,
    Culture and Sport. “Since 2019, we have been working with viaSport
    to advance the safe sport culture in B.C. The sector has asked for
    more support, and we are now ready to take this important step to
    increase protection, accountability and awareness for all participants.”
    The Province is providing $7.8 million in response to commitments
    made to federal and provincial partners to address safe-sport
    challenges. The independent process will help create an effective, fair
    and consistent mechanism to report and respond to complaints. It will
    also allow sport organizations to focus on programs, instead of
    managing their own complaints systems. Implemented by a third-party
    service provider, it will also make it easier for people to know where
    to seek help when they need it. The new process will benefit all
    participants connected to sport organizations that receive provincial
    funding and are accredited by viaSport. ViaSport will engage with the
    sport sector to determine the breadth of services needed and a
    timeline for implementation.
    “ViaSport British Columbia is committed to developing long-term
    solutions to address maltreatment in sport,” said Charlene
    Krepiakevich, CEO, viaSport. “This investment enables us to build on
    the success of our PlaySafeBC program, and to advance the
    prevention of maltreatment. It also enables us to continue to work with
    the amateur sport sector on the creation of an independent third-party
    mechanism to help everyone respond and report more easily,
    upholding safety in sport.”
    ViaSport will also continue to bolster the PlaySafe BC program to
    increase awareness of accepted and expected behaviours, promote the
    importance of safe sport and increase protection for all participants.
    “As a coach and as a parent, I know how important it is to integrate
    safe sport into everything we do,” said Adam Frost, a wheelchair
    rugby coach and coach trainer. “The more awareness and tools we
    have to keep our athletes emotionally, physically and mentally safe,
    the more likely it is that we all perform better.”
    Evan Dunfee, a Richmond-based Olympian, said: “It’s exciting to know
    this new reporting tool is being developed. This independent process
    will help keep everyone safer as it will provide a vital link for athletes
    to raise their voice when they experience or witness a safe-sport
    violation.” (news.gov.bc.ca)

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