Don't be a sports bully

Bullying in sports is a big problem, according to a recent provincial survey.

A whopping 94 per cent of B.C. sports organizations surveyed believe sports bullying is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

And 55 per cent say they know of athletes who have dropped out because of bullying; 44 per cent know of officials, coaches, managers or volunteers who have done the same.

In a province-wide call to action, those same groups are being asked to sign a declaration of commitment to erase bullying in sport across B.C. 

“Sport is a powerful catalyst for personal growth and community pride. Those participating in sport, at any level, should feel safe and encouraged,” says Sheila Bouman, CEO of viaSport, a non-profit created by the province as a legacy of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

“On behalf of the 73 provincial sport organizations viaSport funds, and the 670,000 B.C. members these organizations represent, we are determined to ensure a safe, welcoming and positive sport culture and environment for all British Columbians.”

The organization has launched an #ERASEbullying video featuring Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Heil, Paralympic gold medalist, Richard Peter, Vancouver Whitecaps' Carl Valentine, Vancouver Canuck Trevor Linden, and Special Olympics athlete Paige Norton to support the campaign. 

The anti-bullying message will be reinforced on Pink Shirt Day (Feb. 22).
“We will ensure that bullying will not be tolerated in our locker rooms, on our playing fields or in our bleachers, and together we can spearhead the solution to build a safe platform where our athletes can truly shine," said Peter Fassbender, minister of community, sport and cultural development.


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