IOC Marks Safe Sport Day with New Athlete Safeguarding Courses

IOC's New Courses Empower Athletes and Allies

by Nouman Rasool
IOC Marks Safe Sport Day with New Athlete Safeguarding Courses

International Olympic Committee (IOC) is celebrating Safe Sport Day on 8 August by launching two new online courses dedicated to safeguarding the safety and well-being of athletes. This move reflects the IOC's unwavering commitment to nurturing a sports environment that is respectful, fair, and free from any form of harassment and abuse.

The two courses, "Safeguarding Essentials for Young Athletes" and "Safeguarding Essentials for Athlete Allies," are now accessible on Athlete365 as part of the Winter Youth Olympic Games Gangwon 2024 Readiness Programme for Young Athletes and Athletes’ Entourage Members, respectively.

These comprehensive courses are available in ten languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, and Arabic. The primary objective is to educate athletes and their entourage members about the various types of harassment and abuse, providing them with tools to recognize, prevent, and address these behaviors effectively.

"Safeguarding Essentials for Young Athletes" offers insights into athletes' rights and responsibilities through real-life scenarios that explore topics such as emotional abuse, neglect, hazing, cyberbullying, and sexual harassment.

The course aims to inform young athletes about the different forms of harassment and abuse, empowering them to stand against any unacceptable behavior and seek help when necessary.

Protecting Athlete Allies: Safeguarding Course

On the other hand, "Safeguarding Essentials for Athlete Allies" targets members of an athlete's entourage who play a crucial role in ensuring a safe sporting environment.

The course emphasizes the significance of safeguarding, equipping entourage members with the ability to identify signs of abuse and take appropriate action to protect athletes' physical and mental well-being. Through these new courses, the IOC underscores its dedication to athlete safety and the promotion of a culture that respects and values equality within the sports world.

Harassment and abuse have no place in sports or society, and the IOC is actively taking steps to prevent and respond to any concerns. These initiatives are in line with the IOC's commitment to protect athletes, as laid out in Olympic Agenda 2020+5, particularly Recommendation 5, which prioritizes "further strengthening safe sport/safeguarding across the Olympic Movement to protect the physical and mental well-being of athletes." Moreover, the IOC has already taken significant strides in athlete safeguarding, including the development of the IOC Athlete Safeguarding Toolkit, offering guidance to sports organizations on creating athlete-safeguarding policies and procedures.

The organization also introduced the IOC Certificate: Safeguarding Officer in Sport, a groundbreaking program that has trained 165 students from 66 countries in its initial two editions. Most recently, the IOC announced the establishment of a USD 10 million fund per Olympiad to reinforce the prevention of harassment and abuse in sport at the local level.

By undertaking these multifaceted initiatives, the IOC is actively promoting gender equality and inclusion in sports while ensuring safe, accessible, and sustainable sports organizations worldwide.