OCA, IOC hold webinar on safeguarding of athletes at games-time

OCA, IOC hold webinar on safeguarding of athletes at games-time

Kuwait City, Kuwait, June 11, 2024: The Olympic Council of Asia, in collaboration with the International Olympic Committee Safe Sport Unit, held an informative webinar on the Safeguarding of Athletes and Other Participants during Games-Times period on Tuesday, June 11.


With an eye on the Paris 2024 Olympics and OCA multi-sport games in the near future, almost 100 participants from 29 Asian National Olympic Committees joined the online meeting which was moderated by Sabine Fakhoury, OCA Gender Equity and Safeguarding Manager.


OCA Deputy Director General Vinod Kumar Tiwari welcomed all participants and in his opening address reiterated: “The Olympic Council of Asia always puts athlete safety and welfare first. Harassment and sexual abuse has no place in sport.”


In a watershed move in international sport, the OCA for the first time had a Safeguarding Officer in place at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China last September and October.


The OCA Deputy Director General also pledged that this would be the norm at all Games held in Asia in the future. “Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility,” he added.


The webinar began with an introductory speech on the objectives of the webinar by the OCA’s Safeguarding Officer Sabine Fakhoury.

·        To ensure all NOCs understand the importance of Safeguarding and the importance of appointing a safeguarding officer and/or a welfare officer during games-time period.

·        To review Paris 2024 NOC games preparations.

·        To review OCA Safeguarding guidelines and disseminate OCA Games-Times period Safeguarding framework.

·        To understand and learn from best practices.


This was followed by a detailed presentation on the importance of Safeguarding at games-time by Gloria Viseras, the IOC’s Safe Sport Unit Senior Project Manager.


In her presentation she revealed that in Asia, only 35 per cent of NOCs had a Safeguarding Officer, someone who is trained to protect child and adult athletes from harm – sexual abuse and other forms of harassment – by providing a safe place in which to play sport.


Asia still ranked higher than the rest of the world when it comes to NOCs having a Safeguarding Policy – 27 per cent (Asia) to 24 per cent (World) – according to Viseras.


Quoting an international athlete, Viseras ended her presentation by saying: “All athletes have the right to Safe Sport.”


Fakhoury then took participants step-by-step through the OCA’s guidelines and Games framework.


The webinar ended with a presentation on the experience from Singapore by Syahirah Latiff, Training and Education Manager, Safe Sport Commission Singapore.