Dr Margo Mountjoy and Sheldon Kennedy will encourage you to consider your role in creating a safe sporting environment and what you can do to protect athletes.
There are five sections within the course for you to work through, which include relevant case studies that offer solutions to harassment and abuse in sport.
You’ll come away with an understanding of what the signs of harassment and abuse are, why it happens and how you can help safeguard athletes.
Over 80 per cent of mental health issues stem from adverse childhood experiences such as harassment and all types of abuse. I was no different – [the abuse] impacted my performance, it impacted my schooling, it impacted my health
Crucial to creating a safe sporting environment is recognising the signs of harassment and abuse and knowing when and how to act. This course will provide you with the education and tools to effectively safeguard athletes and take responsibility in offering support and protection. A key take away will be in building your awareness of when harassment and abuse could be occurring around you and how to step in.
What you will learn
The course is split into five sections:
- What is harassment and abuse?
- Recognising the signs
- Case study: Alex
- Understanding your role
- What can organisations do?
Margo and Sheldon will guide you through each section, beginning with important insight into the five categories of harassment and abuse that can occur in isolation or in combination with one or more of the others: psychological abuse, physical abuse, neglect, sexual harassment and sexual abuse.
Personal insights and case studies are an essential part of the course, and you’ll hear from Sheldon himself about his own experience of sexual abuse. This will encourage you to reflect on your own experiences or those of others while empowering you to play an active part in the safeguarding of athletes.
Meet your course experts
Dr Margo Mountjoy MD, a retired synchronised swimmer, is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University Medical School and member of the IOC Working Group on Mental Health in Athletes.
Sheldon Kennedy won a Memorial Cup, World Junior Gold Medal and skated for three teams in his eight-year NHL career. He made the courageous decision to charge his Major Junior Hockey league coach with sexual assault for the abuse he suffered over a five-year period while a teenager under his care. He has influenced changes in Canadian law and has taken his message to the IOC and the US Senate.
“My experience in sport started off great, then I met a coach who sexually abused me for many years. I remember the fear I had as an athlete of “who’s going to believe me?” Over 80 per cent of mental health issues stem from adverse childhood experiences such as harassment and all types of abuse. I was no different – [the abuse] impacted my performance, it impacted my schooling, it impacted my health,” shares Sheldon.