SafeSport helps leaders establish an inclusive environment that makes everyone feel safe and welcome.
What would it be like if everyone who tried orienteering felt welcome, included, challenged, but most of all, safe? Chances are, your organization has already deliberately thought through how to make this happen through registration, newcomer instruction, course design, results, and more. If you haven’t, you should. And if you have, now’s a great time to review your practices.
November is SafeSport campaign month in OrienteeringUSA. We’re approaching club recharter, which requires you to identify someone to take the SafeSport Trained course and ensure your club is aware of requirements to protect minors under federal law. But it’s so much more than that. SafeSport also helps us structure our interactions so no one can abuse a situation of power over another, regardless of age or ability. We’re largely a sport run by volunteers, and we need to look out for each other. SafeSport training will help your leaders recognize and properly react to situations that could be problematic, and it helps us all establish the inclusive environment we need to conduct our sport safely.
SafeSport training is free to OUSA members. Those in key roles must take the 90-minute SafeSport Trained full course every 3 years. But there are also a range of much shorter courses tailored to specific audiences, such as youth, parents, and volunteers. See the OUSA website for more information and to sign up. Let’s all do our part to make orienteering appropriately challenging, inclusive, and enjoyable for everyone!
Not convinced, yet? Consider this: if minors cross state lines to attend your orienteering event, the federal SafeSport Act applies to you. You need to know what that means for your organization.