Scottish Gymnastics Independent Review
Scottish Gymnastics launched an external investigation when a concern was raised in early July 2020, following which, they commissioned an independent review into performance programmes.
The aim of the review was to ensure that athlete welfare is central to the Scottish Gymnastics performance programmes and that the platform for athletes to raise concerns to Scottish Gymnastics staff is the best it can be. Athletes, parents, coaches, support staff in performance programmes across disciplines from 2016 onwards and Scottish Gymnastics staff were invited to contribute to the review.
The review team was led by safeguarding consultant Chris Smart with Sally Conway, Olympic, Commonwealth and world championships judo medal winner, as athlete advisor and Gavin Scott, rugby operations director at Scottish Rugby advising on performance. The Lawn Tennis Association’s head of safeguarding, David Humphrey assisted on the review, bringing his safeguarding experience from another sport in the areas concerning governance, casework, and training.
The report recognised the commitment across all levels of Scottish Gymnastics to make the sport safe with structures, policies, and procedures. Author Chris also noted the steps taken in recent years to improve the overall well-being and safety of gymnasts through the safeguarding programme and education.
The review found that although many at Scottish Gymnastics believe well-being must come first, that culture is not necessarily translating to practice on the ground, nor is it pronounced overtly enough in the strategy, documentation, and processes.