A Duty to Safeguard Participants

Published on October 21st, 2019

The 2019 World Sailing Annual Conference, to be held October 26 to November 3 in Bermuda, is guided by the submissions which seek to address issues in the sport. Nearly 200 submissions are to be reviewed in Bermuda, with Submission 007-19 presented by the International Optimist Dinghy Association:


Purpose or Objective
On Nov 3, 2017, the IOC announced the launching of a Toolkit (click here) to assist International Sports Federations (IFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to develop and implement Safeguarding Policies and Procedures to protect athletes from harassment and abuse in sport. For the IOC SafeSport initiative for athletes, click here.

International Federations such as FISA (World Rowing) have taken the lead on this issue and have generated policies and procedures for their members in the education, awareness and implementation of safeguarding policies for their athletes from children, just starting in the sport, to Olympic athletes. For more information, click here.

The International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA) introduces thousands of children each year around the globe to the sport of sailing. These young sailors often start at about 7 or 8 years of age with many continuing to compete in the youth pathway classes until the age of 18, when they are no longer considered a minor, and continue competing into adulthood.

IODA believes that children and minors, particularly girls are the most vulnerable participants of our sport and that World Sailing, as the governing body of the sport of sailing worldwide, has a ‘duty of care’ to ensure that all athletes, particularly girls and boys, are safe both on and off the water.

Most importantly, children, minors and athletes of all ages must be free to participate in the sport irrespective of sex, age, disability, race, religion or belief, sexual identity or social status and have a right to be treated with respect and protected from physical, sexual and emotional harm or neglect.

It is the collective responsibility of World Sailing, MNA’s, parents, coaches, sailing schools, class associations and event organizers to protect children and athletes.

For the IODA Proposal… click here.

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