Sport P.E.I. applauds new federal initiatives that aim to protect athletes from abuse

Sport P.E.I. is pleased with federal initiatives put forward to keep athletes safe from abuse.

'Sport is a great venue for our children and that hasn't changed'

A toll-free number and website is available for people to use if they have concerns about abuse in sports. (DardaInna/Shutterstock)

Sport P.E.I. is pleased with federal initiatives put forward to keep athletes safe from abuse.

Earlier this week, Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan announced a new independent investigative unit, a Safe Sport Summit and toll-free number and website for people to use if they have concerns.

Gemma Koughan, executive director of Sport P.E.I., says the organization is already promoting the initiatives on social media.

"We'll continue to publicize as it grows, so they in turn can also spread the word, as this develops and grows, people will know more and we'll be able to share that," she said. "That number will become commonplace in the sport world, so if anyone feels the need to use it it's there for them and they know it's there for them."

Gemma Koughan, executive director of Sport P.E.I., encourages teams to use the 'rule of two' that ensures no athlete is left alone with a coach. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

Koughan said it's important for coaches, parents and athletes to be vigilant about minimizing the potential for abuse — for example, using the "rule of two" that ensures no athlete is left alone with a coach.

"We still think and believe that sport is a great venue for our children and that hasn't changed," Koughan said. 

"What has come to fruition is that we have some places within the system that we need to work on and I think this is what we're doing right now with the direction of the federal minister."

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With files from Jessica Doria-Brown