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USA Gymnastics Strengthens Safe Sport Program

As parents of gymnastics athletes, we want our children to be safe and protected.  USA Gymnastics continue to make meaningful changes to better protect our children that are involved in gymnastics.

Below are excerpts from the USA Gymnastics article noting the changes to the current safety policy:

USA Gymnastics recently took the next step in its ongoing effort to protect athletes by accepting the recommendations contained in a comprehensive, independent review of its handling of safe sport matters.  The review was conducted by Deborah J. Daniels, managing partner of Krieg DeVault LLP.  She is also a former prosecutor who has prosecuted child sexual offenders.

The new USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy replaces the previous Participant Welfare Policy – which includes key updates to USA Gymnastics safe sport policies and procedures.  Effective immediately, the policy outlines the scope of the organization’s commitment to promoting a safe environment, requirements and expectations placed on members, and incorporates the authority and jurisdiction of the U.S. Center for Safe Sport.

The Daniels report provided 70 recommendations in 10 key areas including but not limited to:  education, training and athlete support; member requirements and enforcement; reporting of suspect violations; screening and selection of coaches, volunteers and other adults with access to athletes.

Paul Parilla, chairman of the USA Gymnastics Board of Directors, says in part:  ” An athlete’s well-being is our primary focus.  Even one instance of child abuse is one too many.  Success in competition is important, but not at the expense of an athlete’s health and safety.”

Additionally, USA Gymnastics is in the final stages of hiring a Director of Safe Sport.  This new position will play an integral role in elevating the importance of safe sport throughout the entire organization, including the development of a safe sport strategic plan, and a comprehensive education and training plan for athletes, parents and coaches alike.

“The vast majority of adults in the gymnastics community have the best interests of young athletes at heart.  However, the high-pressure atmosphere and relative youth of athletes in elite gymnastics, in particular, can lead not only to enabling abusers, but also to suppressing reporting”, said Deborah Daniels.

There is still a lot of work ahead, but USA Gymnastics, the USA Gymnastics Board of Directors, members of the Policy Review Panel, Olympic medalists, and gym club owners are committed to ensuring a stronger and better organization for young athletes.

To read the full article, the Daniels Report, the USA Safe Sport Policy and Letter to the USA Gymnastics Community click here.

2 Responses to USA Gymnastics Strengthens Safe Sport Program

  1. The implementation of the Safe Sport Policy is so important for all youth sports, especially gymnastics. Unfortunately, gymnastics can be a dangerous environment if the wrong people have access to these unsuspecting young athletes. These athletes put their trust and faith into their coaches and should be able to do so without risk or fear. I am happy that there will be a screening process and hope that there will also be some kind of auditing or checking process periodically to ensure everything and everyone is compliant.

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  • Hi Dani,

    Yes, the most important thing is the safety of our children in any sport.  We put our kids in the hands of these coaches and we want them to have a fun and rewarding experience.  Hopefully, this will put an end to all of this for good.

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