In Quebec, some 750,000 young people and almost 75,000 coaches are involved in organized amateur sports. Volunteers (coaches, officials, administrators) devote much time and energy to children and demonstrate a degree of social commitment significantly beyond that of the average individual.
By virtue of what they do, coaches exert great influence over young people because in addition to serving as role models, they are sometimes also the heroes, and frequently the confidants of our children.
As is the case in other settings, the world of amateur sport is grappling with the problem of children as the victims of sexual abuse, where either :
- coaches or volunteers take advantage of their position to sexually abuse children;
- coaches or volunteers discover cases of the sexual (or other) abuse of children.
The purpose of this guide is to inform the reader of the issues involved and the responsibilities of all concerned and thus better enable him to help provide protection and intervene appropriately in any problem situation.