Equestrian Canada (EC) is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement to join Abuse-Free Sport, the new independent program to prevent and address maltreatment in sport.
Beginning on April 1, 2023, EC staff, board, committee members and its National Team Program (NTP) participants will have access to the services of the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC), which serves as the central hub of Abuse-Free Sport. NTP participants include athletes, and members of the integrated support teams. EC has chosen to begin the transition to utilizing OSIC services with high-performance participants, for individuals who represent our country at the international level of equestrian sport. A transition period will continue to a second phase of all participants in 2024.
“Through sport research, we have learned that very few high-performance athletes that experience maltreatment – only about 15 percent, report their experiences,” explained EC CEO Meg Krueger. “It was therefore important for us to prioritize this group of participants through additional external support services as we transition our reporting processes to the OSIC.”
In addition to its own set of Safe Sport policies, EC officially adopted the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment (UCCMS) from the OSIC on December 1, 2022.
“EC recognizes that safe sport is everyone’s responsibility,” Krueger continued. “Anyone participating in equestrian sport in Canada should expect to do so in an environment free from all forms of maltreatment and within a sport culture of inclusivity, dignity, and respect. We are fully committed to doing our part to support a growing national movement that is changing the culture of sport in this country.”
Prior to April 1, 2023, EC National Team Program participants and any EC sport license holders who have experienced or witnessed maltreatment will continue to have access to independent third-party services through EC’s External Complaint Manager, W&W Dispute Resolution Services Inc .
“We are pleased to sign on to Abuse-Free Sport and to soon have the OSIC administer safe sport complaints for our national team,” continued Krueger. “This is an important step forward for high-performance equestrian athletes and for everyone involved in sport in Canada.”
There is more information about the Abuse-Free Sport program HERE, on the OSIC HERE, and on Equestrian Canada HERE.