In North America, 7 out of 10 youth quit organized sport by age 13.
Bullying is a societal problem that is impacting individuals in all areas: School, work, sport and home life.
In sport there is a fine line between competitive spirit and true bullying. Whether it’s from parents, guardians, athletes or coaches, disrespectful behaviour has become a growing concern at gyms, swimming pools, courts, rinks, ski hills, fields and all other sport locations. Our programs aim to provide consistent messaging and understanding at all levels to create more positive, safe and inclusive sport experiences.
In North America, 7 out of 10 youth quit organized sport by age 13. The leading reason for this mass exodus, according to youth, is the pressure to perform and the negative culture of sport. The ‘fun’ in sport has been replaced by a ‘win at all cost’ mentality which has led to increased dropout rates, childhood obesity and youth mental health challenges. The correlation between a child’s participation in sports and their overall well-being, whether it be at a recreational level or competitive level, is undeniable. It is time to bring the fun back into sport and the first step is to eliminate the stressors that are causing kids and families to drop out in the first place.
Bullying in Sport
What People are Saying
I am very proud that myself and Sport Calgary are very supportive of Dare to Care and its programs. We understand the importance of mental health and confidence, and we know that sports can play a huge role in helping to strengthen that side. Dare to Care helps integrate the students, athletes, and the entire community so that our youth will be healthy in body, mind, and spirit
2 Time Olympian, Double Gold Medalist Speed Skating
As our flagship sports program, this workshop provides innovative content that is impactful for athletes and teams of all ages and competition levels. We believe that athletes generally want to do what’s best for their team. Unfortunately, it only takes a few toxic individuals to completely change a team culture. Athletes who experience bullying will often lose focus in sport, underperform, experience anxiety, drop out of tournaments/competitions, and/or quit sports altogether. Furthermore, targets of bullying are often reluctant to tell their parents or coaches about the bullying due to feelings of embarrassment, shame or out of fear of retaliation.
Through age-appropriate and sport-specific sessions, Dare to Care will provide athletes with the knowledge to differentiate bullying vs. normal conflict, understand the forms of bullying, and provide tools/training so athletes can stand up for themselves and others before incidents of bullying escalate. Dare to Care suggests the following age groupings:
♥ 7 - 8 years old
♥ 9 - 12 years old
♥ 12+ years old
Safe Sport is a topic at the forefront of many sport conversations today and organizations are dealing with more challenging behaviours than ever before. This workshop will equip coaches, management and volunteers with the awareness and tools needed to make a positive impact in their communities. Coaches set the stage for how kids on a team are treated, and management sets the stage for how coaches, players, parents/guardians and officials treat one another. Both coaches and management must be very clear in creating an atmosphere of respect, support and team unity. In order to do this coaches and management must understand the difference between competitive spirit and true bullying; whether it be from players, parents, management or coaches.
In this workshop participants will establish a common language, become better equipped to identify instances of bullying, learn how to take a “no-nonsense approach” to bullying and understand the importance of having clear policies and procedures to deal with issues.
Our Coach & Management Workshop will award participants with up to three NCCP professional development points thanks to our partnership with the Coaches Association of Canada.
Unlike many other programs, Dare to Care includes a parent/guardian workshop to ensure the entire club has a consistent understanding of bullying and common language. Including parents/guardians in the Dare to Care programming is integral in creating a respectful and supportive environment.
A key learning for parents and guardians from the workshop is to effectively understand the difference between normal conflict and true bullying behavior. This is critical in order to reduce false reports of bullying and to allow organizations to concentrate efforts on legitimate issues. Parents and guardians will also learn the expectations for behaviour at practices/games/competitions, how to work with the organization if there is a concern, and will receive bystander training so they are empowered to speak up when they see disrespectful or abusive behavior.
Officials/Referees are often some of the most at risk and targeted individuals in the sports community. Retaining officials is as much, if not more, challenging for sporting associations than attracting them in the first place. In a study done with hockey referees, 90% said they were the recipients of aggression and anger (Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine). In this same study, around 46% said that referees are threatened by physical violence.
Verbal, physical and emotional abuse of game officials and poor sportsmanship by spectators has led to a shortage of referees, many of whom are only a few years older than the athletes they are officiating. This workshop will assist officials and referees identify bullying behavior, understand how to de-escalate situations and empower them to report concerning behaviour when it happens. This workshop is an excellent way for sport organizations to show support for their referees/officials and retain them in sport.
NCCP PD Points
80% of people have witnessed or experienced homophobia in sports.
Only about 4% of bullying takes place in front of adults.
1 in 4 Teens report being targeted by cyberbullying.
Youth with disabilities are 2X more likely to be targeted.
93% of individuals in sport who experience some form of maltreatment choose not to report.
90% of referees report being the recipient of aggression and anger.
More than 85% of bullying takes place with peers present.
Since Dare to Care I have seen a lot of change on my team. Dare to Care brought us all together and made us more aware of how our actions and words can hurt others.
– Athlete Experience
Your words lingered with me and allowed me to have a very tough conversation with my daughter. We talked for over an hour yesterday, and shed many tears along the way. Once again, thank you. You’re making a difference in this world.
– Parent Experience
If I had known the impact this program would have on our organization, we would have done it years ago.