OTTAWA – The federal government is partnering with a Canadian athlete rights group for a study on abuse and discrimination in sport.
Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, says she is supporting AthletesCAN in conducting a study to “measure athlete experience with all forms of maltreatment, including sexual, emotional and physical abuse, neglect, harassment, bullying, exploitation and discrimination in Canada.”
The study, done in collaboration with University of Toronto researchers, is being conducted in an effort to help the government make sport safer along with achieving a target of gender equity by 2035.
Earlier this year, Duncan unveiled a gender equity secretariat and announced the development of a code of conduct that can be used in sports at all levels.
“Since the last prevalence study of this kind more than 20 years ago, the climate with respect to awareness, understanding and disclosing of abuse has changed dramatically,” Ashley LaBrie, AthletesCAN executive director, said in a statement.
“These behaviours have become the most widespread threats to sport participants and the positive impact sport can have on society. By understanding the current high-performance athlete experience, we have a much better chance at identifying the gaps and building on steps to safer sport environment for all.”
Duncan recently said she was upset by recent stories about Canadian athletes being subjected to abuse, including a CBC investigation published earlier this month which reported that “at least 222 coaches” were convicted of sexual offences from 1998 to 2018. The report also said 34 other cases of accused coaches are currently before the courts.