Thursday June 16th sees the publication of the long awaited Whyte Review which has spent almost 2 years looking into abuse and mistreatment of gymnasts as a result of almost 400 cases which came to light following the release of the documentary Athlete A.
What relevance does this have to fencing?
The review will, amongst other issues, aim to determine matters such as the wellbeing of athletes as well as whether athletes had pathways to report concerns along with the necessary support to raise concerns and complaints. We will be taking our time to digest the report to understand the learnings and identify areas where BF can seek to make improvements and contribute to safer environments to participate in fencing.
In the meantime at BF we work towards our goal that all fencers, wherever they participate in our sport, should feel able to raise a concern regardless of whether that is something that has happened to them recently, or was something that has happened in their past. We are taking this opportunity to remind the community of the routes that are available to them if they feel the need to raise a matter that is concerning them.
We will also support athletes who are concerned about the process and impact of reporting on them and others around them. We recognise that the publication of this report and the associated media may trigger members of our community who have experienced abuse or harassment both inside and out of sport.
We would urge anyone who is wanting to raise a concern or needs support to contact us via the Safeguarding Hotline 07526 003030 or directly to Liz Behnke who is the Lead Safeguarding Officer for British Fencing by email, phone, WhatsApp on [email protected] or 07717740125. Other routes of reporting include Club Welfare Officers.
More details on how to Report a Concern and other useful contacts can be found on our website. Please remember that community reporting helps us to take action and create safer environments for everyone to enjoy fencing.
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