Their first task has been introducing themselves and getting to know the stakeholders. Sather writes:
The Ombudsman must work hard to become a known and trusted entity for all stakeholders to talk to. This means that I have to go out of my way to engage the staff, parents, and coaches in a way that makes them feel certain that I care about their problems. I have begun speaking to the staff at Kidsports on a regular basis and just asking questions about their role in the organization, what seems to give them problems, and generally just checking in with them. What I have noticed is that there will inevitably be conflicts in their daily lives that they would like to talk about. If I can listen to them, ask questions, and give them some bits of helpful advice on how to manage some of their daily interactions it is a start in creating a good rapport.Johnson says that this initial outreach has already paid off:
As a result, a few intakes indeed came into our office, and we had our first conflicts to solve! Due to confidentiality, I can't specify what these conflicts entail and who they involve, but we did get one solved and another is in the process. Its such a rewarding, feel-good experience to help people in this way.So far, they seem to be blogging every week. (Slather's Blog; Johnson's Blog; Kidsports Ombuds.)
Related posts: University of Oregon to Provide Ombuds for Local Youth Sports Program; Recent Conflicts Highlight Role of Kidsports Ombuds.