Grace Fu launches Safe Sport Commission to tackle harassment, misconduct against athletes

·Editorial Team
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu announces the formation of the SafeSport Commission next year to help the sports community combat sexual misconduct. (PHOTO: Sport Singapore)
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu. (FILE PHOTO: Sport Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu announced the establishment of the Safe Sport Commission on Monday (14 October), which seeks to address the issues of harassment and misconduct against athletes.

Headed by Chan Yen San, Partner at audit firm KPMG, the commission comprises members with diverse expertise selected from various organisations. They include national sport association (NSA) heads, corporate leaders, experts from government agencies as well as past and present athletes such as Yip Pin Xiu, Lim Heem Wei and Dipna Lim-Prasad.

Creating safe environment in sports

The commission was set up by Sport Singapore in partnership with the Ministry of Social and Family Development, the Singapore Police Force and the Ministry of Education. It was launched at the third edition of the CoachSG Conference at Republic Polytechnic on Monday.

“We recognise the importance of creating a safe environment in sports. This is a responsibility shared by all involved in sport from the NSAs and employers to parents, teachers and coaches alike,” said Chan at the conference.

“The Safe Sport Commission will work towards strengthening the Safe Sport framework, policies and processes as well as establishing best practices and safeguards for the sporting fraternity. Where necessary – the Commission will step in to advise on further enhancements.

“We hope for zero incidents and this is a pro-active first step in creating a national system and a safe environment for all participants of sport.”

Tackling harassment in sports

The commission was mooted after the issue of harassment in sports came to the forefront in recent years.

There were several cases of sexual misconduct among coaches reported in Singapore, including one where a football coach was jailed for 26 years and given 24 strokes of the cane for sexually abusing seven boys aged between eight and 11.

Fu urged everyone in the sports fraternity to give the commission their fullest support.

“Our coaches must also remember that they are responsible for the safety and well-being of their charges. To uphold public trust and confidence, a high standard of professionalism is expected of them,” she said at the CoachSG Conference.

“We must work together to create a safe and conducive environment for everyone to enjoy sport.”

Launch of Singapore Coach Medallion award

During the conference, Fu also launched the Singapore Coach Medallion award, which aims to recognise exemplary coaches who have gone beyond their call of duty to make a positive difference in society through sport.

There were 10 recipients for the inaugural award, including table tennis coach Jing Junhong, athletics coach Pedro Acuna and para-athletics coach Muhamad Hosni Muhamad.

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