A strong signal from Canada Artistic Swimming in the pursuit of its action plan for safe and inclusive sport.

Today, Canada Artistic Swimming (CAS) announced a new partnership with ALIAS, a Canadian company specializing in on-line reporting mechanisms. This new initiative is part of the CAS Action Plan for Safe and Inclusive Sport launched in April.

Recognized as a leader among Canadian companies in this area, the Quebec company ALIAS is joining forces with a national sport federation and its provincial partners for the first time to offer an independent service for managing the feedback and safe sport reporting process of members of the community.

This platform, which is completely bilingual, confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, will be operational across Canada this fall and will allow CAS registrants at all levels to make a report concerning conduct or other issues by phone, e-mail or on-line, through a highly secure feedback intake platform that can be accessed easily from multiple organization websites.  Reports made through the online platform will automatically be directed to the independent report manager, for the applicable geographical area.

By simplifying and streamlining the mechanism to make a report, supported by CAS national safe and welcoming sport policies and procedures, ALIAS will allow individuals in the Canadian artistic swimming community to report in full confidence incidents related to inappropriate conduct, or suspected discrimination, harassment or maltreatment, and also creates a consistent and easy way to provide constructive feedback to the organization in general.

An additional measure for a healthy sport

Since it adopted mandatory respect in sport certification through its partner the Respect Group in 2016, Canada Artistic Swimming has embraced and led on implementing mechanisms designed to educate and support safe and healthier sport experiences.  This new partnership demonstrates CAS’s continued commitment to providing concrete solutions to bring about an exemplary culture and environment with an emphasis on prevention, education and response.

“Today’s partnership announcement is another step in the right direction for us,” said Canada Artistic Swimming CEO Jackie Buckingham.  “We recognize that when the pandemic started, we took our foot off the safe sport education gas pedal – at a time when we should have accelerated it.  We are impassioned to provide tools that remove the fear in reporting an issue – and encourage early reporting – so we can mitigate the impact of inappropriate conduct on athletes and get specific resolution to those involved sooner in the response process”.  Buckingham added: “Mistakes may still be made in the future as our sport learns together what is okay and what is not okay in terms of supporting our culture of person and performance, but we will stay proactive in our responsibility to address those mistakes in the appropriate way, as soon as they occur.”

“Partnering with professionals in the field like Alias, for whom protection and security of information is a priority, just like for us, allows us to listen more and take action faster. Using this simple and easy-to-use tool, athletes and others will be able to report any type of concern, whether they experienced it themselves or as a witness. It is a tool that can go a long way in improving communication on these concerns and speed of action as we deal with the reports submitted. We are very pleased to make this tool available to our members” concluded Buckingham.

“ALIAS is proud to contribute to this major project for the national sports community, placing at the heart of its commitment the protection of athletes as well as the collective responsibility that falls to us,” declared the president and co-founder of the ALIAS company, reporting line, Vicky Poirier.

Canada Artistic Swimming has developed this custom-made mechanism in concert with Alias for its membership to use now and in the future when it will be adapted as required to work in concert with the SDRCC central reporting mechanism announced by the federal government on July 6. CAS is excited about the synergy this opportunity will create to address safety in sport at all levels in Canada.