In this Newsletter

Volume 1
August 2013

  1. Welcome
  2. Safe Sport Updates
  3. Training & Education
  4. Remind Your Clubs
  5. Safe Sport in the News

Mark Your Calendar

8.14.2013 :: 10-11 a.m.
Webinar: Hiring Practice

8.22.2013  ::  1 p.m.
USOC Webinar: Recognizing the Risks of Abuse

13 Helpful Links

  1. USA Swimming Safe Sport
  2. USA Swimming Education
  3. USOC Safe Sport
  4. Stop It Now! Child Sexual Abuse Prevent
  5. National Children's Advocacy Center
  6. Stop bullying
  7. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  8. Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
  9. Child Welfare League of America
  10. Safe 4 Athletes
  11. radKIDS
  12. National Children's Advocacy Center Lookup
  13. Safe Horizon

USA Swimming Safe Sport Contacts

Susan Woessner,
Director of Safe Sport

Elizabeth Hoendervoogt,
Safe Sport Coordinator

Sponsored by:


USA Swimming Safe Sport Newsletter

Welcome to our first Safe Sport Newsletter!

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide monthly updates of the most current Safe Sport related information. If you have any feedback, comments or suggestions, please e-mail us at

Safe Sport Updates

Please join us in welcoming the new additions to the Safe Sport Committee. With these additions we now have a complete committee, and we are so pleased to have you all on board.
  • Sandy Wurtele Ph.D. - Psychology professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs; serving the committee as an expert in the field of child sexual abuse.
  • George Geanon- Wisconsin Board of Review Chair and Safe Sport Coordinator
  • Meaghan Murphy- USA Swimming coach member
  • CJ Fiala- USA Swimming athlete member
The USA Swimming Safe Sport website has been updated and looks fantastic. Please visit the website at to view and familiarize yourself with the new changes.

The USA Swimming Safe Sport Handbook was released electronically on Feb. 7, and it was mailed to every member club in March. You can also access a full version of the handbook here.

KUDOS TO SUSAN: Director of Safe Sport Susan Woessner recently accomplished an important professional milestone and is now officially a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in the state of Colorado.  

Training and Education

The USA Swimming Safe Sport Program is proud to offer free athlete protection training to all member athletes and the parents of our member athletes.

Free athlete protection training became available on April 8.  It is a free education program for athlete ages 12-18. The training provides athletes with information about:
  • Inappropriate contact
  • Physical, emotional and behavioral boundaries
  • What to do if your boundaries are violated
  • Who to tell
  • How USA Swimming can be a resource

On April 6, our Safe Sport staff piloted an in-person training session using the online course with the National Junior Team during its training camp at the Olympic Training Center. The participation from the athletes was great, and the training was well received by both the athletes and the coaches

You can locate the training here.

USA Swimming also offers abuse prevention training for parents of member athletes. Parents are a critical component to our overall goal to protecting children from sexual abuse. The comprehensive online programming includes information about how offenders operate; how to recognize and respond to boundary violations, myths and facts about child sexual abuse and USA Swimming’s Athlete Protection Policies and Procedures.

Access the training here.

If you are interested in bringing an Athlete Training to your LSC or a specific club please contact Susan Woessner or Liz Hoendervoogt at the national office.

To support the LSC Safe Sport Coordinator role, the Safe Sport Committee held the first LSC Safe Sport Coordinators Workshop in Dallas on May 31-June 1. The goal of the workshop was to bring together those individuals serving in this original LSC role so that they could learn from each other and share ideas. This was an important step in our efforts to strengthen the Safe Sport initiative within our sport.  The Safe Sport Committee will offer a second workshop at the annual Convention in Anaheim, CA in September for those LSC Safe Sport Coordinators who were unable to attend in May. 

Remind Your Clubs

Under Article 502.6.8 of the USA Swimming rulebook, all clubs are required to comply with the USA Swimming Pre-Employment Screening Procedures for New Employees. This applies to all new employees who are required to be USA Swimming members under Article 305.4 and 502.6.3.

The pre-employment screening program requires clubs to certify to USA Swimming that they have conducted three required screens prior to offering employment to any potential employee. The three screens are (1) past employment reference checks; (2) verify the highest held level of education; (3) acquire a state motor vehicle report. Clubs are also encouraged to complete two optional screens: (1) social network search; and (2) Google media search.

If you have additional questions or need more information please reference the Pre-Employment FAQ on USA Swimming’s website or contact

USA Swimming will host a webinar on hiring practices on Aug. 14 from 10-11 a.m. MT 

The USA Swimming Code of Conduct requires that all USA Swimming clubs adopt policies to address bullying, travel, and use of electronic communication by club members.

USA Swimming has provided model policies for bullying, electronic communication/social media, and travel policies. You can access them here.

All model policies become the default policy for any club that chooses not to, or is unable to, create its own. Also, all policies must be reviewed and agreed to by all athletes, parents, coaches and other adults affiliated with the club on an annual basis. 

USA Swimming hosted a webinar on the bullying and electronic communication policies on December 17, 2012. It is available here.

Safe Sport in the News

Sports Illustrated featured a cover story about two world-class athletes, Cy Young Major League pitcher R.A. Dickey and Kayla Harrison judo gold medalist.

“Two champions who stepped out of the shadows, shined a light on the dark secret of child sexual abuse and showed us how to understand and begin to heal.”

If you haven’t read this article you can access it here.

This article by writer Gary Smith is powerful, insightful compassionate, and educational. You absolutely will not regret taking the time to read it.

Also, please take the time to read Abuse of power: When a coach crosses the line, kids, teens and elites need to feel safe coming forward by Rachel Sturtz.

This article was published in the Running Times this past May. It is a great piece that speaks to what abuse looks like as well as what people can do to help lower the risk of abuse occurring.

You can find the full article here.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: USA Swimming reminds all member organizations and coaches to that you are responsible for complying with applicable copyright laws regarding publication and distribution of printed materials, including internet content. If you have any concerns about whether material you seek to reprint is covered by copyright law, we encourage you to contact the author and obtain permission or otherwise seek appropriate counsel regarding use of the materials.

© 2011 USA Swimming