Safe Sport Program
Curling Canada (National Sport Organization (NSO)), Ontario Curling Council (Provincial Sport Organization (PSO)), CurlON and the Northern Ontario Curling Association (Sport Governing Member Associations (MA)) are committed to the safety of athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, volunteers, and employees who participate in the sport of curling in the province of Ontario.
Safe Sport has become a focus of both the Federal and Provincial Governments. This has created a Safe Sport “Movement” to ensure participants of any age, skill or ability can participate in sport in a manner which is free from harassment, discrimination, or abuse and protects the health and wellness of the athlete. As a result some Safe Sport activities have become mandatory for National Sport Organizations (NSO’s) and Provincial Sport Organizations (PSO’s) and are tied to funding from Federal and Provincial Governments. Some Safe Sport activities have become LAW for all Ontario Sport Organizations, including curling clubs.
Provincial and National Initiatives
Rowan’s Law – Rowan Stringer, a high school Rugby player from Ottawa, Ontario, passed away in 2013 from Second Impact Syndrome due to multiple concussions suffered within a short period of time. A coroner’s inquest into her death resulted in 49 recommendations to be implemented in an effort to prevent another tragedy such as this from happening in the future. Rowan’s Law, which passed unanimously at the Ontario Legislature on June 7, 2016. Parts of the Legislation came into effect in 2018 (Awareness Day), and on July 1, 2019 – Mandatory Concussion Awareness training for all sport organizations (including Curling Centres) became law.
Prevention of Abuse, Harassment, and Discrimination
On February 10, 2019, the CBC published an article detailing abuse cases in sport. This article became the catalyst to the Safe Sport Movement driven by the Federal Government.
On February 19, 2019, Federal and Territorial/Provincial Sport Ministers signed the Red Deer Declaration – For the Prevention of Harassment, Abuse and Discrimination in Sport:
- Sport must be free from harassment, abuse, unethical behaviour, and discrimination, regardless of sex, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion, language, age, sexual orientation, ability, or any other basis.
- Canadian athletes, who have called on all governments to take action to address significant concerns regarding the safety of participants at all levels, must play a central role in the prevention of harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport.
What does this mean for curling?
The Coaching Association of Canada has been addressing the issue of abuse prevention for several years, and has become an industry leader on the subject, encouraging sport organizations to operate under the “Responsible Coaching Movement” – encouraging sport leaders, staff and coaches to have strong policies, conduct background screening, respect and ethics training and follow the Rule of Two, all in an effort to protect sport participants.
Resource Materials have been developed by the Ontario Curling Council (OCC), CurlON (Ontario Curling Association), and Northern Ontario Curling Association (NOCA), to help curling centres understand their legal requirements and to establish best practices to ensure the sport of curling remains safe for all participants.
Get started today – Download the Safe Sport Implementation Checklist for Curling Centres.