Early intervention is the process of identifying and responding early to signs of high risk and/or inappropriate behaviour. You may observe these signs through the direct behaviour of an individual or through the change in personality and/or behaviour of the victim. One of the goals of early intervention is to prevent the escalation of serious issues and behaviours that could lead to a person being harmed.
See Something? Say Something.
Recognizing and responding to high risk behaviours or signs of abuse is part of our roles as leaders. If you witness inappropriate behaviour or behaviour that makes you uncomfortable, it is your responsibility to say something, whether it is directly to the individual, a colleague or superior.
Responsible Coaching Movement
The Responsible Coaching Movement (RCM) is a multi-phase system-wide movement, coordinated by the Coaching Association of Canada and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport that has the potential to affect all sport organizations and coaches. The RCM is a call to action for organizations to implement realistic change based on their individual state of readiness. The RCM is the result of extensive ongoing consultation with the Canadian Sport Community. These consultations will guide the different phases of the RCM that will address the role coaches play with issues relating to the health and safety of athletes, both on and off the cheer mat.
Risk Management is the process of identifying and evaluating the chance of loss or harm, then taking steps to combat the potential risk. A number of organizations have put together resources to assist the sport community in developing their own Risk Management protocols.
The Canadian Centre for Ethics (CCES) in Sport has developed The Risk Management Project as an initiative designed to help enhance the effectiveness of decision-making among sport leaders using a consistent, sport-specific, and integrated risk management process.
In addition to the Risk Management Project, the CCES has also compiled the Canadian Sport Risk Registry which contains a number of common risks and solutions that sports leaders are faced with.
As of October 2020, Cheer Nova Scotia has created a standardized screening protocol for coaches, officials and volunteers. To see the current screening requirements for coaches within Cheer Nova Scotia, click here.
To learn more about best screening practices, check out the following resources:
Cheer Nova Scotia has developed the Athlete Interaction Policy to protect athletes while they are participating in training and competitive environments. We are committed to making cheerleading in Nova Scotia enjoyable for all participants by ensuring that all sport environments are ones where individuals feel safe and respected.
The Rule of Two serves to protect athletes in potentially vulnerable situations by ensuring that more than one adult is present. It is recommended that this second adult is another screened/certified coach, however when not available, the second adult can be a parent or guardian of the child.
For more information on the Rule of Two and the best practices, click here.
Cheer Nova Scotia also recognizes that physical conduct with children is a necessary and important component when working with children in a sport setting. However, the physical contact must be appropriate. Spotting, supporting, and shaping the athlete is an essential part of coaching cheerleading in that it helps the athlete to understand shapes, movement patterns, and complex skills, but also reduces the risk of injury due to a fall or error in performance.
For more information on the Proper Spotting Guidelines and access to Cheer Nova Scotia’s Athlete Interaction Policy, click here.
Other related policies include Concussion Management, Harrassment, and Code of Conduct.