Recent comments on social media and elsewhere about allegations of inappropriate behaviour within our sport are causing concern in some parts of the paddling community.
While we all have the right to express an opinion, it is vitally important that we also recognize how hurtful our comments can be, and that we must take responsibility for educating ourselves to ensure those opinions are well-founded.
In response to this situation, we felt it important to put out a timely message to make clear a few important points.
First, any cases of alleged violations of CKC’s Safe Sport policies are dealt with thoroughly and objectively through the Independent Third Party. We cannot comment on the specifics of any case without consent from the parties involved as confidentiality is a cornerstone of any safe sport program.
Confidentiality also promotes the integrity of the process by allowing for an independent investigation and by respecting voluntary agreements between the parties. Discipline decisions are published to ensure transparency for the sporting community.
Second, spreading unfounded gossip is harmful and hurtful for everyone involved. There is also the potential for a negative ripple effect that could distract our Olympic athletes and coaches as they make final preparations for Tokyo.
Third, CKC has one of the most advanced and progressive safe sport policies among national federations. Widely adopted by paddling clubs across the country, we are constantly looking for ways to better protect participants and to proactively create the conditions for positive athlete experiences. Sport Canada’s announcement this week about a new independent safe sport office is further reason to feel confident about the power of Canada’s safe sport movement and the strength of CKC’s approach.
It’s clear there are members of our paddling family who are struggling with some difficult issues. Let’s commit to supporting each other with kindness and compassion so that the necessary healing can take place and we can move forward with a collective commitment to making canoe kayak safe, welcoming and fun for everyone involved.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to either of us should you have questions or concerns. Queries about the complaint process canbe directed to Brian Ward, Independent Third Party for Canoe Kayak Canada, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Casey Wade, Chief Executive Officer
Kenna Robins, Senior Manager National Program Development