May 03, 2017

Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada Calls for National Athlete Ombuds

The federally chartered and funded not-for-profit has called for the creation of an Ombuds program for amateur sports in Canada. The report, "Closing the Loop - A Proposal for a Sport Ombuds in Canada," is based on a nationwide survey, focus group discussions, and individual consultations with hundreds of athletes, coaches, volunteers, parents, officials and staff members.  

After considering the variety of Ombuds types, CRDSC concluded that a unique structure would best serve the needs of a wide-ranging and diverse population of stakeholders:
Based on the stakeholder feedback, followed by extensive research and analysis, the Committee is recommending a creative and progressive hybrid approach that combines elements of traditional ombuds functions while adding other features designed to meet the unique needs of the Canadian sport system. Housed within the Centre and reporting to an independent advisory committee, the main functions of the ombuds would be to: informally resolve conflicts and other issues; investigate complaints and make recommendations; provide advice and referrals; monitor trends and emerging issues; and manage the ombuds office.
The recommended two-tiered approach recognizes the jurisdictional limitations on a federal ombuds while providing valuable services to a broad swath of the Canadian sport community. The program would therefore offer distinct services depending on the origin and nature of the complaint. “Tier 1” services would be available to members and employees of sport organizations funded by Sport Canada and would include referral of users to an existing service; compelling of these organizations to cooperate in investigations; and recommendations on specific complaints. “Tier 2” services would be offered when complaints originate from a provincial/territorial, municipal, or club level. The ombuds office would act more as an information, advice and referral service. Tier 1 services may be made available in certain regions subject to funding from provincial/territorial governments.
The Committee recommends a two-stage implementation: over the short term, through an interim program offered under the auspices of the Centre, followed by a permanent ombuds program created through amendments to the Physical Activity and Sport Act (S.C. 2003, c.2).
The full report is available online.  Plans for implementation have not been announced.  (CRDSC Ombuds Report.)

Related posts: Psychologist Urges Ombuds as Buffer for Student Athletes; Michigan State to Appoint Ombuds for Student AthletesRecent Conflicts Highlight Role of Kidsports Ombuds; NCAA President Suggests Role for Ombuds; University of Utah Appoints Ombuds for Student Athletes; Sports Conflict Institute TV Explores How an Ombuds Might Help in SportsPAADS Athlete Development Summit to Feature Ombuds; Sports Conflict Institute Explores Ombuds for NCAA; Blogger Calls for International Sports to Adopt Ombuds; Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada Seeks Input on Ombuds; British Lawmaker and Activist Urges Creation of National Sports Ombuds.

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