Safe Sport Programme to address abuse, harassment in sport: Edwin Tong

·3-min read
The Singapore women's floorball team celebrate their 3-2 win over Thailand in the final, as they clinch the gold medal. (PHOTO: Alfie Lee/Sport Singapore)
FILE PHOTO: Sport Singapore

SINGAPORE — Singapore has introduced the Safe Sport Programme to address abuse and harassment in sport, a progression from the Safe Sport Commission launched in 2019.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong announced the programme during his ministry's Committee of Supply debate in Parliament on Monday (8 March).

"This is a very important issue for us – no sportsperson, male or female, should feel unsafe as they train, compete or play any role in sports," he said.

"The Safe Sport Programme also contributes to the on-going Conversations on Singapore Women’s Development, although not all sport participants are women. We want to facilitate an enabling sporting environment that protects women and girls."

Three key actions: Prevent, Address and Assure

The Safe Sport Programme will address abuse and harassment in sport through three key actions: Prevent, Address and Assure.

At the heart of the programme is a unified code against misconduct in the sporting environment. The code will set out the definitions of sexual, psychological and physical misconduct. This will include present-day threats posed by cyberbullying, hazing and online harassment.

The unified code has been developed in consultation with experts in safeguarding children and vulnerable groups, key government agencies as well as non-governmental organisations. Leaders in the Singapore Olympic and Paralympic movement have also been consulted.

A wider community consultation with athletes, parents, coaches and sport administrators will commence in April, and be completed by the end of October.

To address incidents of misconduct, the Safe Sport Commission will enhance case management to provide those affected with access to a "confidential, third-party" reporting channel and appropriate support.

The commission will introduce an accreditation framework, so that sport participants can easily identify sporting organisations that are committed to practising safe sport.

The accreditation criteria will be based on a participating organisation’s adoption of the unified code, implementation of relevant policies, as well as training and certification of persons involved. It will also consider the availability of robust incident management and disciplinary processes that ensure accountability for transgressions.

Additional $25 million to enhance Sports Resilience Package

The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) will also be injecting another $25 million to enhance the Sports Resilience Package (SRP), bringing the total amount for sports industry support measures under the SRP to $75 million since last year.

The additional funds will go towards a new Self-Employed Person (SEP) Project Grant, as well as the expansion of an existing Enterprise Innovation and Capability Development Grant.

The SEP Project Grant to provide additional support to sport and fitness SEPs, to support collaborations among SEPs and/or with businesses to develop projects that enhance the health and wellness of Singaporeans. The grant is capped at $25,000 per application.

For businesses, the $3 million Enterprise Innovation and Capability Development Grant (EICDG) – for enterprises to develop innovative solutions to the sports industry – will be topped up by another $22.5 million, and extended over five years from FY2021 to FY2025. Grant application details will be available on SportSG’s website in April.

In the second half of this year, SportSG will engage industry stakeholders on an Industry Development Plan, which aims to sharpen its approach to grow a more economically vibrant and sustainable sports sector in Singapore in the next five years.

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