In February 2019, after a series of nationwide safe sport consultation summits, federal-provincial-territorial sport ministers signed the Red Deer Declaration, committing to the elimination of abuse, discrimination and harassment in sport. In response, the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS) was developed as a foundation for a coordinated implementation strategy to prevent and address maltreatment for all participants (athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, practitioners, etc.).
Volleyball Alberta is dedicated to creating a safe and welcoming sport environment and recognizes a systemic culture shift is required to eliminate maltreatment, including sexual, emotional, physical abuse, neglect, harassment, bullying, exploitation and discrimination. Volleyball Alberta believes the welfare and safety of everyone involved in the sport is a primary consideration and the responsibility of each individual, member, club and provider in the volleyball community. Volleyball Alberta has zero tolerance for any type of harassment or abuse. Athletes, officials, coaches, administrators, and parents are encouraged to report any instances of harassment and abuse in a way they feel safe.
Safe Sport Complaint Process Overview
- For more information, download VA’s Safe Sport Complaint Process Overview.
- Volleyball Canada's Safe Sport Complaint Process Overview.
- If you have a safe sport issue to report, please contact the independent third party (see below).
Volleyball Alberta & Volleyball Canada’s Independent Third Party
Abuse-Free Sport is an independent program that is part of a growing national movement to rid Canadian sport of all forms of harassment, discrimination, and abuse. As a Program Signatory, Volleyball Canada is an active player in this movement.
Unlike the previous approach, where each national sport organization created its own system for dealing with complaints of maltreatment, this is a centralized “one-stop shop.” It is independent and led by experts in their fields, using education and research to prevent maltreatment at all levels of sport.
The Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (the Office) serves as the central hub. It operates independently to administer complaints about alleged violations of the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS).
Where there are admissible allegations of abuse, harassment or discrimination, the Office conducts independent investigations and recommends sanctions against individuals who violate the UCCMS.
How To Report Abuse
Individuals are required to report abuse or suspected abuse. If you are the victim of abuse, harassment, or discrimination, or you’ve witnessed such an incident within our sport, you are encouraged to contact the Canadian Sport Helpline by phone or text at 1-888-83SPORT (77678), or by email to email@example.com, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.
When the incidents recounted appear admissible, operators can assist you in filing a report through a confidential online platform, if desired.
Canadian Sport Helpline
The national toll-free Canadian Sport Helpline offers assistance to victims or witnesses of harassment, abuse or discrimination. The anonymous, confidential and independent service will allow them to share and validate their concerns, obtain advice on required next steps, and be referred to other appropriate resources for follow up.
Volleyball Alberta has adopted several policies aimed at addressing the maltreatment of individuals in sport which include:
• Code of Conduct & Ethics
• Discipline & Complaints
A full list of Volleyball Alberta’s policies can be found on our website.
Education & Training
Volleyball Canada requires that all individuals involved with the sport across the country take the new safe sport training module, available via the Coaching Association of Canada website.
As of April 1, 2020, anyone associated with a Sport Canada-funded organization must be trained on conduct to prevent and address maltreatment. This includes coaches, referees, parents of youth athletes, high performance staff and contractors, officials; and all administrative staff and volunteers whether they may have direct contact with athletes or not.
The safe sport module is a free, 90-minute eLearning module that gives all participants the tools to recognize, address, and prevent maltreatment in sport. The module aligns with the principles of the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport and meets Sport Canada requirements for Safe Sport education.
Visit the safe sport training site for more info:
To take the training, you must create an account in “The Locker”, even if you are not a coach (it’s free!)
Volleyball Canada’s Open & Observable Spaces (Rule of Two)
Open, observable, and justifiable interactions and communications are strongly recommended to foster safety, enhance protection, and help reduce vulnerability of both the athlete and adult(s) in a position of trust.
Commonly referred to as the Rule of Two, it means that there will always be two screened and safety-trained adults with a participant, especially a minor athlete, when in a potentially vulnerable situation. Applying the Rule of Two is a measure that helps mitigate opportunities for maltreatment and abuse to occur.
Vulnerable situations include but are not limited to:
• Closed doors meetings
• Medical treatments
• Travel to and from trainings, competitions, events, or activities
• Any training or competitive environments without a second coach or responsible adult present (in the gym, in the weight room, etc.)
• Electronic communications
"Open and Observable Environments" is VC’s version of rule of two. As in rule of two, this practice still involves making meaningful and concerted efforts to avoid situations where a person in authority (coach, official, staff member, IST member etc.) might be alone with an athlete and/or vulnerable individual.
The name refers to the fact that interactions between an individual and an individual who is in a position of trust/authority should be in an environment or space that is both “open” and “observable” to others.
For a full description with examples and frequently asked questions, please download the Open and Observable Spaces Guidelines.
• NEW: Rule of 2 info-graphic
Child Abuse Hotline
|Mental Health Helpline
Mental Health for Sport
The Canadian Centre for Mental Health and Sport (CMHS) is a registered charity supporting the mental health and performance of competitive and high-performance athletes, coaches, and performing artists. The CCMHS is the first Centre in Canada to offer collaborative sport/performance-focused mental health care services designed to help athletes, coaches, and performing artists achieve their performance goals while preserving their mental health and well-being. The CCMHS provides mental health services to competitive and high-performance athletes and coaches, as well as competitive performing artists. Here are the eligibility criteria:
• Must be 16 years of age or older
• Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
• Must participate in a sport or performance domain at a competitive or high-performance level
• Must be experiencing mental health challenges
Refer yourself or someone else to access sport/performance-focused mental health care from anywhere in Canada!
Calgary Distress Centre
(403) 266-4357 (HELP)
Edmonton Distress Centre
(780) 482-4357 (HELP)