The Canada Games inclusion declaration is based on work done at the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport on a program called True Sport. Kim Pattyson, CCES Manager of Sport Community Engagement says, “For people to benefit from all that sport has to offer they need to have a place to play that is consistent with their skill, ability and interests and in an environment that is fun, fair, safe and respectful.”
Here are the seven True Sport principles:
- 1. Go For It – Discover how good you can be
- 2. Play Fair
- 3. Respect Others
- 4. Keep It Fun
- 5. Stay Healthy
- 6. Include Everyone
- 7. Give Back
“True Sport fosters an environment that focuses on fairness, personal excellence, inclusion and fun and is free of harassment and abuse and other unethical behaviour,” Pattyson says. “Sport is vulnerable to a series of threats. If we are able to educate and instil a values-based sport system in athletes at a young age, we believe we can help mitigate these threats and protect our sport system.”
Lorraine Lafreniere is chief executive of the Coaching Association of Canada. The Association is leading the “responsible coaching movement” in Canada that helps provincial and national sport associations and Games organizers create safe environments for athletes.
The coaching association takes the lead in three areas for safe sport:
- 1. Background screening for coaches
- 2. Implementing a “rule of two” where two adults should always be present when coaching one athlete, even ensuring a third party is involved in any digital communication between coach and athlete.
- 3. Education, to help governing bodies think through checks and balances for safe sport.
“We know the field of play is well protected for young athletes, but it’s social engagements, such as texting, extended travel and accommodation, where there are risks,” says Lafreniere. “(The) Canada Games is one of most significant first experiences for a young athlete, being away from home for a long time. They will be exposed to other sports and other sport cultures. If the safe practices are in their first Games it sets the stage for what they should expect for what safe competition and safe sport should be.”