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Thorough Background Checks, Parent Education Courses Highlight USA Swimming Safe Sport Report -- September 14, 2012

GREENSBORO, North Carolina, September 14. USA Swimming today released its bi-annual Safe Sport Status Report, providing a summary of the additions, statuses and improvements to the organization's comprehensive athlete protection programming. The report will be distributed to the over 500 volunteer leaders attending the organization's annual legislative and educational summit at the U.S. Aquatic Sports Convention in Greensboro, N.C.

"USA Swimming is incredibly proud of its Safe Sport program provided to its membership, and we are committed to continuing to provide the best possible programming," said Chuck Wielgus, USA Swimming's Executive Director. "Our commitment to remaining the leader among Olympic sports organizations requires us to continually evaluate and grow our programming. The Safe Sport Committee, led by USA Swimming's Safe Sport Director Susan Woessner, has done an exceptional job of auditing our programming, proposing new legislation to strengthen our efforts and executing the existing elements."

"Keeping aware of the developments in the field of abuse prevention is among our top priorities, and with the commitment of the organization and the athletes, members and outside experts serving on our Safe Sport Committee, USA Swimming's programming will continue to evolve," said Susan Woessner Director of Safe Sport for USA Swimming.


The full report is available here, and highlights are excerpted below.

Emphasis on Training/Education:
Over 30,000 adult members, volunteers and coaches complete training: Since September 2011, 31,309 non-athlete members have completed mandatory online athlete protection training customized for USA Swimming by Praesidium, Inc., a national leader in sexual abuse prevention education.
Parent Education offered to 300,000 families, for free: In July 2012, USA Swimming released free, customized online education courses for parents, created by Praesidium. The courses are available to the parents of USA Swimming's 300,000 members.
Volunteer Leadership offered in-person training: Over 600 national, Zone, and LSC leaders have participated in in-person training opportunities since September 2011

Screening:
New Background Checking system screens more than 35,000 adults: 35,718 non-athlete members have completed a mandatory criminal background check since the augmented background checking program launched in January 2011.

Reporting
Training results in action: Since the release of the online athlete protection training in September 2010, USA Swimming's Safe Sport staff reports a dramatic increase in communication from members including questions, concerns, and reports in which they directly reference that something in the training resonated and made them pick up the phone.
Reports result in sanctions: Since the program's inception in September 2010, USA Swimming has sanctioned 24 members for violations of Safe Sport related measures, 16 of whom have been banned for life.

The above article is a press release submitted to Swimming World Magazine. It has been posted in its entirety without editing. Swimming World offers all outlets the chance to reach our audience by contacting us at Newsmaster@swimmingworldmagazine.com. However, Swimming World reserves the right to choose what material is posted.


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