Canada Artistic Swimming believes that everyone in the sport has the right to enjoy the sport at whatever level or position they participate. Athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers have the right to participate in a safe and inclusive training and competitive environment that is free of abuse, harassment or discrimination.
Canada Artistic Swimming is committed to providing a safe training environment to all participants. This includes providing access to information about concussion education & management, anti-doping and responsible coaching, as well as giving access to a national independent Safe Sport Officer.
In addition, Canada Artistic Swimming has recently adopted several governing policies related to safe sport, which can all be accessed through our Safe Sport Policies page.
- Required national coaches and officials to complete mandatory Respect in Sport Certification starting in 2016 with all National team coaches, staff and athletes and in 2019 added the requirement that it must be completed every three years by all club coaches and officials (effective January 1, 2021)
- Adopted a new eight-year strategic plan outlining values of respect, ethics and athlete-centred decision-making (2016-2024)
- Adopted a new name and brand in 2018 with brand essence “forging unity through diversity”. Nine of eleven provincial organizations have now adopted their own provincial version of the same brand, icon and logo.
- Rolled out the new AquaGO! national entry level program aimed at all children aged 5-9 and built on LTAD and principles of aquatic literacy. AquaGO!2 is in development to extend this inclusive recreational programming to older children. Serving under-represented and indigenous communities are in future plans.
- In 2017, helped FINA develop and implement the first-ever Artistic Swimming World Series international competition circuit in standardized format. CAS now owns an annual event in the circuit.
Adopted the CAC Responsible Coaching Movement and have encouraged all PTSOs and clubs to follow.
In 2017, developed a best in class suite of Conduct policies which were introduced to be effective in all provinces and clubs in the organization and have been continually updated to reflect government priorities and standards from 2017 until May 2020. These policies were refined and combined into a safe and welcoming sport policy suite at the end of 2021 and will be re-introduced in late 2022 now compliant with the UCCMS and OSIC requirements. Additionally, these policies are in use and applicable for all PTSOs.
- Re-designed all national team selection processes to reflect more emphasis on athletic qualities and “intangible” sport skills – resiliency, accountability, and team support skills and less emphasis on physical attributes.
- Developed standardized officials training programs for use in every province (2018).
- Developed and introduced a new national on-line registration database and event management system (2018) to allow for the standardized collection of demographic data across the country.
- Commencing in early 2019, encouraged all athletes to report to a responsible person or directly to our external, third-party Safe Sport Officer if they feel they have been subjected to harassment, discrimination or bullying of any sort through education and the CAS Safe Sport page on its website.
- Ensured our Discipline and Complaint Policy clearly outlined the process to address any issues of discrimination or harassment, on any basis, including race, religion, or gender identity.
- Effective September 1, 2019, and forward, all coaches, officials, and volunteers in the sport must follow our Screening Policy.
- Also effective September 1, 2019, CAS introduced a Coaching Registration and Certification Policy that requires all registered coaches to be NCCP certified and to acknowledge and commit to abide by the CAS Conduct Policy as a condition of registering. This policy defines the appropriate behaviour expectations for all participants in our sport.
- Created the Safety in Sport Coordinator position in fall 2019 at the National Office to support CAS commitment to safe and inclusive sport programs, and gender equity programming, and to answer any related questions from athletes, coaches or anyone in the organization. This role grew to become the Senior Manager Safety in Sport & Athlete Services in 2022. The Athlete Safety Advisor (an external third party ombuds-type role) continues for the 2023 season.
- In July 2020, sent an open letter to all affiliated organizations (PTSOs, Club, Schools), coaches and officials to rally in support of diversity and inclusion and to announce new CAS initiatives in this area.
- In August 2020, CAS established a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force to address on-going gaps in achieving our goals of access for all, including finalizing our Diversity and Inclusivity Policy, conducting a full review to ensure the sport’s rules and policies support inclusivity, and also to examine ways to make the sport more financially accessible for all.
- Supported our national team athletes to join athletes from all sports in standing against racism and discrimination. Offered training and education in allyship and diversity and inclusion for Board, Staff, Coaches and PTSO Executive and Volunteer Leaders – October, 2020 (INclusion INcorporated). Training of staff and coaches approached 30 hours in total by February, 2021.
- CAS continues to reach out to people who have provided personal and systemic feedback to invite them to be part of the solutions as we go forward.
- CAS is actively supporting Canadian leaders in building a more robust judging and scoring system at the international level that reflects the ideals of the Olympic motto – faster, higher, stronger, and is based on objective and measurable performance criteria – consistent with Canadian sport values. Two CAS staff members sit on the current FINA Innovation Committee tasked with initial design. The new scoring system received endorsement by 98% of FINA Members at the Congress in October 2022 and will be introduced at international and domestic events in 2023.
- CAS has completely re-designed our NCCP curriculum to reflect our growing needs to educate coaches better about diversity, technical skill development, basic physical literacy, safe sport and more. AquaGO! (Instructor level), and Competition Introduction levels are complete and implemented, Competition Development needs minor adjustments and is to be done next. Competition Development Advanced Gradation program has been approved by CAC and is currently in operation.
- In the spring of 2021, CAS engaged a communications company (Balboa) and an industry specialist (INclusion INcorporated) to develop and undertake a full Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. This plan’s initial oversight component, Rise Up, is chronicled on the CAS website.
- Key steps in the Rise Up campaign were executed during the rest of 2021 and through 2022. These included partnering with subject matter expert Kyle Paquette to conduct an internal culture of excellence audit (recently released as “CAAT” by the OTP) of the senior national team twice (once in 2021 and again in 2022 – the only NSO to have done it twice at this point) and using those results to inform strategic and operational planning; worked with Bingo Impact Management to execute an organization-wide inclusion index survey offered to all registrants to collect feedback on the environment of the sport across the country.
- Implemented a new on-line, confidential, third-party reporting mechanism for all complaints and feedback in partnership with Alias in early 2022 called “Make a Report”.
- Implemented a more robust on-boarding program for National Team athletes in 2021 which includes additional housing and education support and cooking classes.
- Implemented and published a positive body image guide to emphasize healthy body image in the sport in 2021: .Discontinued regular body composition testing of national team athletes in favor of athlete or physician requested testing.
- Replaced the hot lunch program initiated in 2019 with a weekly Hello Fresh meal program for all senior national team athletes – at the organization’s cost- in 2021. The program is continuing in 2022-23.
- Working with experts from Game Plan Implemented a new best-practice Mental Health Emergency Action Plan for the senior national team athletes with further application for other levels to follow. Mental health resources are now available on the CAS website to educate all stakeholders on the importance of mental health and wellness at all levels.
- Initiated the “Rise Together” project in the fall of 2021 that brought club coaches of national team athletes together to help with visioning for the development of our athletes and our program going forward.
- Commencing in September 2021, CAS partnered with the organization Re-Root to teach 15 coaching leaders across the country a comprehensive 20 hour, 6 session course focussed on how to effectively work in the autonomous coaching space.
- In partnership with fellow aquatic sports Swimming, Diving and Water Polo, CAS created an e-learning module for sport leaders and all participants to better understand the language of Inclusion and Diversity. This module will be available on the CAC education portal by early in 2023.
- CAS has begun the process of signing onto the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada’s (SDRCC) new safe sport reporting mechanism under the Office of the Integrity Commissioner (OSIC) banner. The planned effective date for implementation is January 1, 2023. Work is underway on the requirements needed in order to achieve OSIC compliance.
|Open letter to CAS Members, Clubs, Coaches and Officials||Jun 2020||126 Kb|