Athletes benefit even more from their sports when they feel secure and when the environment in which they evolve fosters healthy development that is respectful of their needs and considers their age. Unfortunately, violence and sexual abuse are still far too commonplace and accepted in the sports community. These behaviours affect young athletes along with the sports community. It is vital that young athletes be allowed to find fulfillment in sport and to experience the benefits and joy of practicing their sport in a culture of respect. This can only happen in a healthy sports environment. Therefore, our mission is:
“To promote a safe and healthy sports environment for young athletes. By disseminating information and raising awareness, we help members of the sports community whether they are athletes, parents, coaches, managers or other participants, to understand, manage and, above all, eradicate violence in all its forms from their environment.”
During the spring of 2015, Ski Québec Alpin introduced a virtual toolbox project whose objective was to prevent abuse and harassment in alpine skiing programs in the province of Quebec. SportBienÊtre.ca, a website created with the collaboration of SafeSport and the support of the Direction de la promotion de la sécurité (DPS) under Quebec’s ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (MEES), is engaged in educating members of the public and giving them the necessary tools to fight sexual abuse. This site is inspired by the American program SafeSport, which itself draws on Quebec sources.
Ski Québec Alpin has long felt the need to reach a larger audience and to give tools to Quebec athletes of all levels. That is how the DPS, SPORTSQUÉBEC, Ski Québec Alpin, the Unités régionales de loisir et de sport (URLS), Sport’Aide, and research teams with developed expertise in the subject came to create an advisory committee in the fall of 2015 to supplement and adapt SportBienÊtre.ca’s platform to better fit the needs and the reality of the Quebec sports community.