As with the entire Canadian sport system, Squash Canada has initiated a Safe Sport program to help ensure that participants can enjoy our sport in a safe and welcoming environment free from harassment, abuse and discrimination.
More broadly defined: “Safe Sport” refers to our collective responsibility to create, foster, and preserve sport environments that ensure positive, healthy and fulfilling experiences for all individuals. A Safe Sport environment is one in which all sport stakeholders recognize, and report acts of maltreatment and prioritize the welfare, safety and rights of every person at all times.
At present, there are no requirements for anyone who coaches at a National Championship to be NCCP certified coach or at the very least, have completed appropriate Safe Sport Training. In squash, anyone can coach – NCCP certified or not, Safe Sport educated or not.
Many National Sport Organizations prohibit unqualified individuals on the field of play to coach athletes.
In an effort to continue to enhance our Safe Sport program, the Squash Canada Board of Directors has passed the following motion, which is effective immediately:
“Motion to approve all Certified and/or other Coaches (ie. trained coaches, squash pros, parents, family members, etc.) must have CAC Safe Sport Training and/or Respect in Sport for Activity Leaders Training to be eligible to coach at the following National Championships – Canadian Junior Closed and Canadian Junior Open and is effective immediately.”
Important: The new policy is NOT targeting parents that might coach their children as a one-off because their regular coach is not attending or at another court coaching another player. The purpose of the policy is to target those who are a designated coach whether it is their own children or someone else’s.
We understand that this is not an easy topic to address but one that will position Squash Canada better with the Canadian Squash community that we are taking action to educate those that act in the role of Coach (Certified Coaches, Squash Pros, Parents, etc.) about Safe Sport. In addition, now that Squash Canada is a program signatory with Abuse Free Sport – OSIC (Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner) that looks to us as the NSO to educate people on maltreatment in sport, we are doing the right thing by moving this forward. We are acting in the best interests of the athletes, and to reduce risk to our sport.