Last week, staff at Canada Artistic Swimming (CAS) received feedback from current team members as well as individuals outside the program that concerned us.
CAS staff immediately looked into the situation, and felt the best decision was to suspend training at the Institut National du Sport (INS) until a thorough review could be conducted. CAS has brought in a third-party, independent person to carry out this review, which is currently underway.
All coaches and support staff, athletes and parents have been advised of our pro-active decision and have been given an opportunity to ask questions and to provide feedback.
We do not want to pre-judge the outcome of this review. It is our hope that at its conclusion we will have a much better understanding of what issues led to this situation, how we can work together to resolve those issues, and map out a path to move forward. It is our goal that our athletes will define what they need from us and from their training environment and we will work together to implement solutions to achieve it.
Over the last several years, we have been working diligently to create a safe and welcoming culture throughout our sport, yet we know we can do more. While we cannot resolve issues that may have occurred in the past, we intend to be current leaders in safe sport by responding appropriately when issues are raised and concerns are identified.
Safety, respect and ensuring our athletes feel welcome is a top priority for CAS staff. We work hard to reflect those priorities every day. We believe that taking this break from training and conducting a fulsome review by asking all the participants individually for their comments, feedback and opinions, is the right approach to resolve the issues and to inform our next steps.
Only when our athletes tell us they feel safe to do so, will we resume training at the Institut National du Sport. Until then, they are continuing to train in their home environments in preparation to represent Canada next summer at the Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo