COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, April 20. USA Swimming has partnered with Praesidium, the leading provider in the field of child protection, to produce and distribute comprehensive athlete protection education programming for the National Governing Body's 300,000 members. The education program, which is required of the organization's 30,000 non-athlete members, will be made available at no charge to athletes and their parents.
"Through our work on this very important issue, we have learned that education remains among the most effective tools in athlete protection. Our program with Praesidium will absolutely be the cornerstone of our efforts," said Susan Woessner, USA Swimming's Athlete Protection Officer. "Empowering all members with the ability to recognize unsafe situations, identify potential risks and report questionable behavior will only strengthen our efforts to provide the safest possible environments for our 300,000 athletes, coaches and volunteers."
Together with USA Swimming's Athlete Protection Committee, Praesidium will develop customized educational programming for adult non-athlete members, athlete members of specific ages and parents of athlete members. This customization will ensure messaging is both effective and appropriate for each member group.
"USA Swimming has demonstrated an organization-wide commitment to setting the standard for athlete protection," said Britt Darwin-Looney, J.D., Praesidium's Director of Youth Development Services. The educational tools Praesidium is developing will be an effective way to keep abuse prevention at the forefront for everyone involved in the sport. Praesidium looks forward to a successful partnership with this great organization."
At its annual meeting in September 2010, USA Swimming adopted Athlete Protection legislation requiring that all non-athlete members, including coaches and officials, complete the educational program as a condition of membership. The legislation was part of a session which also saw the approval of expanded background checking requirements, mandatory pre-employment screening rules and a mandatory reporting rule for all members. For more, visit www.usaswimming.org/protect.
In addition to the online offerings, Praesidium will provide ongoing consultation to USA Swimming on the continued evaluation and evolution of its Athlete Protection efforts.
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.