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GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT // REPORTS FROM THE WARM ROOM Let’s keep youth curlers safe

By Kim Nawyn, Director of Growth & Development,

ing positions of authority. Tis spotlight resulted in legislation that will impact Olympic sports at all levels. On Feb. 14, 2018, S.534-Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 became federal law. Tat law amended two federal statutes, the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 and the Am- ateur Sports Act of 1978. Among other things, a 24-hour time limit on reporting suspected abuse of a child to authorities was applied to certain individuals working or volunteering in Olympic sports. Te law also designated the U.S. Center for SafeSport (the Center) as the organization re- sponsible for developing policies and procedures to prevent physical, emotional, and sexual abuse in Olympic and Paralympic sports. Te Center, an independent nonprofit, opened


in March 2017. Trough the Center, all individu- als involved in Olympic and Paralympic sports have access to online training geared toward pre- venting and responding to incidents of abuse and harassment in sport. While the original training


ver the past year, there has been much media coverage surrounding the abuse of athletes by adults hold-

was geared toward coaches and others in posi- tions of authority, the Center recently created resources for parents of athletes who are minors. In addition, educational materials specifically geared toward young athletes will be made pub- lic in the near future. More information about online training can be found on the USA Curling website. Click “Athletes” on the menu bar, then “SafeSport” in the dropdown menu. In addition to providing educational resourc-

es, the Center processes claims of sexual mis- conduct at all levels of Olympic sport. Concerns about any suspected incidents of child sex abuse, non-consensual sexual conduct, sexual harass- ment or intimate relationships involving an im- balance of power (e.g., coaches dating athletes) should be made directly to the Center. Concerns about child abuse, child sexual abuse, or child neglect should also be reported to local authori- ties. Curling organizations should not take on the role of investigating such claims themselves. More information on reporting abuse can be found on the SafeSport page of the USA Curling website. To assist sport governing bodies, including

USA Curling, with interpreting the recent feder- al legislation, the Center published a new policy focused on minor athletes, which was released

on Sept. 7, 2018. Te policy is designed to guide national organizations and local sports groups, including curling clubs, on practices intended to protect youth from abuse in sports. Te practices highlighted in this policy are also designed to protect volunteers and others from unwarranted accusations. USA Curling is in the process of up- dating the sport’s SafeSport policy, which can be found in the USA Curling SafeSport Handbook. All clubs will be notified when the revisions to the policy are complete. Detailed resources on how the new law impacts curling clubs, as well as policy guidance, will be provided to all member clubs in the near future. In the meantime, if you have questions about

SafeSport or need access to information about online training or background checks, contact Kim Nawyn at or 715- 344-1199, Ext. 203. Te most up-to-date infor- mation about USA Curling’s SafeSport program can also be found on USA Curling’s website. Q

Campers and instructors at the annual Midwest Junior Camp take time to pose for a group picture at Four Seasons Curling Club in Blaine, Minn. Te camp takes place each summer in the Midwest. To learn more, go to

Photo by Jeff Tompson 4 ))

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