Steve Harris one of 72 international safe sport experts to graduate from new IOC Safeguarding Course
Contributor: Ben Steiner
Calgary (September 14, 2022) - Alpine Canada is proud to congratulate Stephen Harris on completing the International Olympic Committee’s newest Safeguarding Course, which he graduated from last Monday in Lausanne, Switzerland, at the IOC’s headquarters.
Harris, Alpine Canada’s Manager, Culture, Safety, & Risk, completed the first-of-its-kind international safeguarding officer certificate program aimed at those who have been appointed or will be appointed as safeguarding officers.
“The course really focused on an athlete-centered approach, which is important at every level from playground to podium, ” said Harris.
The eight-month course, developed by both the IOC and SportsOracle, was delivered by a wide range of experts and practitioners worldwide who specialize in safeguarding and child protection in sport.
“It helped broaden my perspective of what we need to do not only to safeguard sport but how we carry out sport,” he said. “To help create change and to help create a safe sport environment, you have to focus on creating the right experiences for participants and ensure that it is athlete-centered in every way; it’s more than just having safe sport policies in place.”
The course builds on Harris’ deep experience with safeguarding including 25 years with the Calgary Police Force, including 6 years as a Detective in Child Abuse several positions with Luge Canada and the International Luge Federation (FIL) over 30 years, including his experience as a national team athlete in Luge.
“Safe sport is just one piece of building a culture, and our culture,” Harris said of his approach and how it has changed over his career. “To me, culture is the big umbrella, and safe sport is one of several key components within it, so this has been neat to expand everybody’s awareness and education in safeguarding.”
In 2021, the FIL named Harris to Chair the Safe Sport working group that is building the comprehensive Safe Sport framework for the FIL, and representatives from the organization attended his graduation in the Olympic capital.
Being one of 72 students from across five continents, Harris studied alongside Sarah Fussek, FIS Integrity Officer, as the two represented alpine in the course. Armed with his new learnings and certification, Harris and Alpine Canada look forward to continuing to build a positive and safe sporting environment.
“Alpine Canada is committed to creating a healthy, safe, and inclusive sport experience for all stakeholders in the ski community and continues to make it a priority. It is the very foundation of a culture of excellence where all our athletes, coaches, staff, officials, and volunteers can be at their very best.”
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About Alpine Canada
Alpine Canada is the governing body for alpine, para-alpine, and ski cross racing in Canada, as well as for Canadian ski coaches, providing education, certification, insurance, and compliance with the coaching code of conduct. With the support of valued corporate partners and donors, along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Coaching Association of Canada, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship, and World Cup athletes to stimulate visibility, inspiration, and growth in the ski community.