Safe Sport Messaging to Members

Val CarrNews, Swim Alberta News

February 14, 2019

Dear Membership:

Swim Alberta believes that everyone in the sport of swimming, regardless of their level or position, has the right to:

  • enjoy the sport; and
  • participate in a safe and inclusive training and competitive environment that is free of abuse, harassment or discrimination.

Swim Alberta considers Athlete Safety our number one priority. We have a zero tolerance for any type of harassment or abuse.  Swim Alberta takes allegations of harassment seriously.  Swim Alberta’s Discipline and Complaints Policy provides for an independent case manager to manage all allegations and complaints that are received by Swim Alberta.

Swim Alberta has an approved Safe Sporting Environment Guiding Principle that outlines our commitment to athletes to provide an environment that is free from abuse and harassment.  We have adopted and support an “open and observable environment” which means making meaningful and concerted efforts to avoid situations where a coach, official or other individual may be alone with an athlete and/or vulnerable individual.   A code of conduct and ethics further outlines the appropriate behavior expected from all Swim Alberta members.

Swim Alberta coaches are screened on an annual basis to ensure compliance with police record and vulnerable sector checks as well as the screening disclosure questionnaire.  Screening also includes verifying certification, training and registration.  Club programs do additional screening through interviews, reference checks, evaluations etc.

Swim Alberta ensures our clubs have access to the resources and tools required to create an environment that is free of abuse and harassment within the club setting. Tools include:

  • A Club Operations Manual that provides clubs with current and best practice policies for the operations of a club program. It addresses areas of screening, safe sport, code of conduct and ethics, discipline etc.
  • An annual conference provides club board members and coaches with specific training on safe sport (2017), bullying and harassment (2018), and best practices around screening, hiring, code of conduct, safe sport topics etc, that are presented on an ongoing basis.

Swim Alberta is committed to providing clubs with these tools and resources, and will work to support clubs in developing and implementing initiatives and policies as required.

Swim Alberta, through the leadership of Swimming Canada, has embarked on a nationwide safe sport program to ensure a fun, healthy and safe environment for all.  This initiative allows us to continue to review, monitor and update policies ensuring athlete safety remains our number one priority.  Most recently, Swim Alberta in conjunction with Swimming Canada, other provincial organizations and the Canadian Swim Coaches and Teachers Association (CSCTA), took the Canadian Association of Coaches (CAC) Responsible Coaching Movement Pledge. We are committed to working with other stakeholders and partners within the sport system to support the safest possible environment for all members.

Athletes, officials, coaches and parents are encouraged to report any instances of harassment and abuse in a way that they feel safe.  This includes reporting to any of the following:

  1. Your local club
  2. Swim Alberta:  or 780-415-1782
  3. Swimming Canada:
  4. Your local police detachment; or
  5. Kids Help line: or 1-800-668-6868

Please feel free to share this with your club membership.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Swim Alberta staff.

Dean Schultz, President, Swim Alberta
Cheryl Humphrey, Executive Director, Swim Alberta

To reach Swim Alberta: