Photo: Joe Ng

Abuse-Free Sport represents next step in Tennis Canada’s robust safe sport practices

In January, Tennis Canada announced that it had signed an agreement to join Abuse-Free Sport, a new independent program to prevent and address maltreatment in sport. As of today, Tennis Canada and its stakeholders, all National Tennis Centre and National High Performance Program athletes, team coaches, program staff, and the organization’s board of directors, officially have access to the services of the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC), which serves as the central hub of Abuse-Free Sport.

“Tennis Canada recognizes that safe sport is everyone’s responsibility,” said Michael Downey, President and Chief Executive Officer, Tennis Canada, back in January after signing the agreement to join the Abuse-Free Sport Program. “As such, it has been a priority for our organization for a number of years and we are committed to doing our part to support a growing national movement that is changing the culture of sport in this country.”

Tennis Canada is considered a leader in safe sport in Canada after taking several important steps to foster safer environments to practice tennis. Since 2017, Tennis Canada has employed a full-time Director of Safe Sport and Integrity and, for several years, has had an independent mechanism in place that has been available to participants at all levels.

“The adoption of Abuse-Free Sport represents another step forward in the organization’s robust safe sport practices,” said Jennifer Bennett, Director of Safe Sport and Integrity, Tennis Canada. “Through our Tennis Professionals Association and in partnership with our Provincial Tennis Associations, Tennis Canada requires coaches to be fully certified in safe sport and has implemented annual background checks as part of its safeguarding practices. Furthermore, Tennis Canada has launched a national education and awareness campaign in partnership with its Provincial Tennis Associations whereby athletes and parents can check their coach’s certification status to better understand their requirements.”

Learn more about the Abuse-Free Sport program, the OSIC and Tennis Canada’s commitment to safe sport.