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WCL to Engage in Safe Sport Initiatives

July 27, 2018

OTTAWA – Wrestling Canada Lutte (WCL) has joined the growing voices of sport organizations who have called for a Canadian strategy and commitment to ensure sport provides an inclusive and safe experience for all participants.

Over the last year, WCL has been engaged in developing an inclusion policy as well as developing a detailed implementation plan for responsible coaching, which were identified as key activities in WCL’s 2020 strategic plan. In addition, WCL implemented mandatory “Respect in the Workplace” training for staff and members of the Board of Directors. These activities are directly linked to two of WCL’s core values of respect and integrity and our risk management practices.

To ensure that WCL’s values are being enacted and risks are being managed, and in response to concerns raised by membership, WCL undertook a review of its Code of Conduct policy early in the new year, which is still ongoing.

While these are positive steps in the right direction, WCL acknowledges that there is still much more that can be done to ensure the creation of an environment where respect, ethical conduct and integrity are the norm. As a result, WCL is pleased to highlight some of the specific initiatives that will be undertaken over the next year.

Independent Review

Coaching and technical leadership is one of the key pillars of a successful high performance program. To ensure that WCL continues to foster a culture of excellence and ethical conduct in high performance, the BOD has fully endorsed an independent review of the high performance coaching environment to be conducted by David Bennett, an Ottawa lawyer who is also a SDRCC mediator/arbitrator and CAS mediator.

Interviews with a representative group of WCL, including athletes, coaches and staff will be conducted in the coming weeks. Following the conclusion of the review, WCL will be provided with recommendations on how to improve the culture and behaviours of high performance coaches within WCL, in keeping with WCL’s vision, mission and values and Sport Canada’s guiding principles around Safe Sport.

WCL is proactively seeking to live by our values by investigating what is working, and what needs to be improved.

Board of Directors Workshop

WCL also hosted a workshop with the Board of Directors during WCL’s annual meetings to engage in a crucial conversation around safe sport and develop more specific strategies to mitigate any gaps in the system. WCL engaged the services of the Sport Law & Strategy Group to facilitate this planning session.

Members Session

At the 2018 Annual Meeting of Members, WCL hosted a Safe Sport discussion with our PTSO partners and representative member groups. The discussion revolved around alignment of safe sport initiatives both horizontally and vertically, and resulted in a unanimous safe sport resolution for the national, provincial and territorial organizations to move forward on. The resolution reads:

“WCL commits to developing a safe sport framework by the 2019 Annual Meeting of Members. This framework will be developed by a working group that is representative of WCL membership.” 

WCL is committed to working with our community and our stakeholders in coordinating initiatives to ensure all our participants, including athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers, are participating in an environment free of abuse and harassment. We applaud the recent announcements by Sport Canada to ensure that there is a commitment to developing a universal sport policy to support safe sport in Canada, and look forward to specific direction on these resolutions to ensure continued engagement and alignment on these collective efforts.

For more information:

Tamara Medwidsky
Executive Director
[email protected]
613-748-5686 x.3