Interview with Isabelle Cayer, Peter Niedre, and Kasey Liboiron – Athletes First: The Promotion of Safe Sport in Canada

We sat down (virtually) with Isabelle Cayer and Peter Niedre, from the Coaching Association of Canada, and Kasey Liboiron, from the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, to chat about their participation in the forum, “Athletes First: The Promotion of Safe Sport in Canada,” that will be held on June 16, 17, and 18 on Microsoft Teams. Isabelle, Peter, and Kasey will be speaking on the Coach Education panel on the third day of the event.

In our interview, we had a chance to speak with Isabelle, Peter, and Kasey about what safe sport means to them, as well as what attendees will gain from attending the virtual forum.

What does Safe Sport mean to you?

Isabelle and Peter: Sport is fun and has many physical, mental, emotional and social benefits and contributes to the health of a nation. Sport should inherently be safe, where parents/guardians feel confident enrolling their children, and athletes through the system feel welcomed to a positive environment. When you look up the definition of safe it is “protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost.” To us it means a place you go or a thing you do where you can show up as your authentic self and participate in physical activity, games, or competition and achieve your goals. Healthy communications and trusting relationships are key to safe sport.

Kasey: Safe sport should be a baseline expectation for participants. It should be the foundation on which a values-based approach to sport is applied in order to maximize the benefits of sport on participants and community.

How are you involved in Safe Sport?

Isabelle and Peter: As the Director of Sport Safety and the Director of Education Partnerships at the Coaching Association of Canada, our roles are to make sport safe for everyone through building trust and support in the system. The primary enabler of social change is through education. We do this through our events, platforms and partnerships via training, coach education, coach and partner products and services, connecting the community and the professionalization of coaching.

Kasey: For more than a decade, I have been advocating for sport that is fair, safe and open, as an employee of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in sport. The hope is to make sport better for more people by inspiring and supporting by inspiring and supporting Canadians to apply a values-based approach to sport and recreation.

Why should someone attend this forum?

Isabelle and Peter: It’s important for all participants, leaders and experts in sport to come together to listen, learn, lead, and take action. We are all accountable in making sport safe for everyone, and this forum is a great opportunity to discuss safe sport.

Kasey: Safe sport often focuses on what not to do – attend this forum to learn how to engage your stakeholders in developing a culture of safety in order to maximize the sport experience for participants.

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