The Canadian Sport Risk Registry contains a number of common risks and is updated following each Risk Management Workshop. The risks and solutions are presented generically and anonymously, to provide insight for sport leaders to think differently about the risks that are ‘keeping them up at night’.
Conflict resolution management
That a complaint, scandal, dispute, controversy or other incident between or among members will not be effectively handled and will escalate into a crisis.
- Establish a sound policy framework to deal with dispute resolution (code of conduct, discipline policy, appeals policy, independent and professional dispute management).
- Have a crisis communication plan.
- Have ready access to external advisors (legal, harassment, risk management).
- Clarify jurisdictional issues (national, provincial, club, event) to ensure there is clarity around jurisdiction and authority.
- Establish good media relations in both official languages.
- Have a strategy in place to deal with issue and assign a trained spokesperson.
- Provide coaches and other key personnel with conflict resolution training and media training.
- Make it mandatory that national coaches are members of Coaches of Canada (thus binding them to a national code of ethics and disciplinary mechanism).
- Publish a comprehensive team manual containing all relevant policies and information for athletes and coaches.
- Prepare a briefing book for each major event and major team.
- Establish clear terms of reference and job descriptions for team leaders.
- Ensure proper internal communications with athletes.
- Establish and clarify the role of team captain (athlete) and provide greater education and training for this role.
- Offer media training to athletes, coaches, administrators, team personnel.
- Communicate with insurance provider to ensure appropriate coverage exists for these types of risks.
- Declare as a True Sport organization to promote a positive image.
- Conduct a debriefing with executive team or senior management following any incident and document learnings, and adjust policies as needed.
- Develop and communicate clear team selection and appeal processes.
Lack of inclusion
Risk that all who want to participate in a sport activity do not feel safe or welcome.
- Develop and implement policies for gender (e.g., girls on boys’ teams), transgender, and LGBTQ2S inclusion.
- Connect with CAAWS to see what resources could be used to educate coaches and athletes on this issue.
- Explore a campaign to sensitize coaches about the power of language and acceptable conduct.
- Have effective code of conduct in place, and ability to implement disciplinary measures in a professional manner.
- Be clear that the organization does not discriminate and welcomes of diversity.
- Explore funding opportunities for athletes with financial challenges.