Update March 2022
I wanted to update you on the progress we have made on implementing recommendations from the independent review into safeguarding in performance programmes one year on from the report being published.
We commissioned the independent review to make sure we are doing all we can to develop the culture and safeguarding standards required to protect and support gymnasts, coaches, parents and carers, and everyone in Scottish Gymnastics.
One of the recommendations made by safeguarding consultant Chris Smart was that we form a working group to track progress against relevant parts of the safeguarding strategy. He has joined members of our board, our CEO, membership and independent safeguarding bodies on our newly established wellbeing and protection committee.
Lindsey Booth, who became our head of wellbeing and protection last October and a member of our senior leadership team, will work closely with this committee. She and her team are currently developing a three-year wellbeing and protection strategic framework which will be a central part of our new strategic plan which is being developed through our Shape Our Future work.
The safeguarding and performance teams have worked together to put in place processes to make an immediate impact. They have introduced mandatory induction sessions and resources for all coaches, athletes, and parents in our programmes. These outline the culture and positive training environment centred around athlete wellbeing and safeguarding, with information on behaviours, how to report concerns and the process for feedback after each camp.
This year, we introduced a new electronic case management system to help the team manage safeguarding, disciplinary and equality concerns and cases across the sport. A review of the current minimum operating requirements for Scottish Gymnastics membership and our regular update of the code of practice for coaches and officials are underway.
Plans are in hand for expanding the safeguarding education and training programme to the board, staff and other groups of members beyond those who work directly with children and young people.
The recommendations have helped us prioritise what was required to embed safeguarding throughout the organisation, and in performance programmes, clubs and activities across Scotland. With the addition of Lindsey to the team, we are now progressing areas which need more development and resources.
We are committed to implementing all the recommendations to ensure we continue to improve our sport. The wellbeing and protection of everyone involved in gymnastics in Scotland is a shared responsibility, and it is only achievable through everyone working together. We would like to thank members, parents and carers for their support and commitment in helping create a positive culture and environment in which everyone can enjoy our sport.
Scottish Gymnastics CEO