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STATEMENT Re: Government of Canada Commission for ...

December 11, 2023
"Own the Podium applauds Minister Qualtrough for her leadership in creating a special commission to complete a thorough review of safe sport in C ... Read More

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July 17, 2023
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Own the Podium to Join Abuse-Free Sport on April 1 ...

March 31, 2023
OTTAWA—Own the Podium has continued its commitment to ensuring a safe and welcoming sport environment for all in Canada’s ... Read More

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STATEMENT Re: Government of Canada Commission for Sport Review

"Own the Podium applauds Minister Qualtrough for her leadership in creating a special commission to complete a thorough review of safe sport in Canada and the sport system at large.

OTP believes that high performance athletes and coaches should be afforded the resources and opportunity to pursue their athletic objectives without having any regrets. Our goal is to help all athletes get to the start line and know they have done everything possible to achieve their goals in an environment that protects their psychological and physical health and safety. This is not a win at all costs approach. OTP knows that participant wellness, both physical and psychological, is a pre-requisite to everyone achieving their goals.

We also believe it to be important for Canada to do well on sport’s global stage. Every Olympic and Paralympic Games inspires Canadians to be better versions of themselves – be it at school, in business, at home or in the community. Every Games creates a whole new generation of role models for Canada. Every athlete achieving their personal goals through a healthy and an enjoyable journey is a vehicle for developing a healthier population, more active communities and a prouder, stronger and united Canada.

That said, our sport system has to be better at identifying its gaps, continuing to work together and supporting one another and talking about what it does well.

The system needs to demonstrate to Canadians the power of sport because sport, when done right, is an incredible force for good. It can make our communities better; it builds new generations of leaders; is directly connected  with arts and culture, tourism, volunteerism; it makes a positive impact on our economy; and it’s good for the physical and mental health of everyone involved, and so much more.
It is clear, with our partners including the Government of Canada, that we must all do more to protect everyone in Canada’s sport community. While progress has been made, significant work remains ahead of us, but change is happening. Creating a healthier, safer, more inclusive place for all is, and must always be, our top priority.

This is not a choice. We must never settle for ‘good enough’ in this area of work. We must always put people first, regularly hold ourselves accountable and drive further down this path every day to ensure all Canadians can enjoy the benefits of sport.
We look forward to continuing this important work with Minister Qualtrough, the Chief Commissioner, Sport Canada, and all of our partners, to make sport better in Canada.”
…Anne Merklinger, Chief Executive Officer, Own the Podium

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Learn more about the current direction of Own the Podium, as we support Canadian athletes on their journey to the top of the Olympic and Paralympic podium.