During the recent 15th Ordinary IBU Congress in Salzburg, the BIU held a well-attended and informative workshop on safeguarding.

The aim was to discuss relevant safeguarding issues in Biathlon, and the workshop began with a short presentation defining safeguarding and its importance in Biathlon. NFs’ obligations under the IBU Safeguarding Policy were also discussed.

This introduction was followed by round table discussions with NFs, with the aim of answering two main questions:

1.       What are the potential / present risk factors or safeguarding issues in your sporting community?

2.       What do you as NFs need from BIU to further advance your safeguarding efforts?

NFs generally agreed that there is a need for education for coaches / personnel dealing with athletes, but also for athletes themselves, as they are sometimes unsure of which behaviours are and are not acceptable.

It also emerged that, while good educational material is often available within a country / federation, distributing the material in order to stimulate discussion within the Biathlon community can be problematic.

During the workshop, Sara Studebaker-Hall (USA) and Heather Ambery (CAN) presented insights and good practices from their respective countries. Both countries have centres dedicated to Safe Sport: https://uscenterforsafesport.org/ and https://www.cces.ca/. These also serve as contact points for the Biathlon federations. Sara and Heather concluded that collecting feedback from team members is important (ideally by an independent reviewer), and that it is also crucial for federations to have a responsible person (with necessary training) to deal with safeguarding matters.

The BIU was delighted with the level of interest and the lively discussion provoked by the workshop.

For more details, contact:

BIU Safeguarding and Education Officer Katharina Gatterer – katharina.gatterer@biathlonintegrity.com