Dare to Care: Prevention of Bullying, Maltreatment, and Abuse in Sports.
Dare to Care was founded in 1999 due to a need to address the pervasive and crippling issue of bullying and maltreatment that continues to affect children, youth, and adults to this day. Dare to Care’s core purpose is to ensure that all children and youth feel safe, welcome and included in all child-focused communities such as school, sport, and community programs. Dare to Care was the first fully comprehensive program launched in Canada to address bullying and while the initial focus was on early prevention and intervention in school communities, in 2018, Dare to Care adapted the award-winning school program to work with all stakeholders within Canadian Amateur sport organizations.
In sport world, there is a fine line between competitive spirit and true bullying. Whether it’s from parents/guardians, players or coaches, disrespectful behaviour has become a growing concern in our gyms, swimming pools,courts, rinks, ski hills and on our playing fields.
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 toxic culture of sport. The ‘fun’ in sport has been replaced by a ‘win at all cost’ attitude which has led to increased dropout rates, childhood obesity and youth mental health challenges.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 recreation allevel or competitive level, is undeniable. It is time to bring the fun back to organized sports, and the first step is to eliminate the stressors that are causing kids and families to drop out in the first place
Including everyone in the creation of a safe, respectful, inclusive, and diverse sport environment is paramount. As a result, Dare to Care provides the following workshops
The following signature programs are available:
1. Age-appropriate athlete workshops
2. Parent education workshops
3. Extensive professional development for coaches, officials, management/board members
4. Official/Referee workshops
Dare to Care is at an important stage in its evolution of our bully prevention program in Canadian amateur sports. The demand for the Dare to Care in Sports in-person program delivery has increased dramatically, and has surpassed our ability to keep up with this demand. Dare to Care is in need of funding to train additional sport facilitators, hire a sport program coordinator to oversee the expansion, and contract a marketing firm to help with branding.