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Queen’s Athletics & Recreation department review moves forward

A department review of Queen's Athletics & Recreation (A&R)'s varsity sport program, designed to support and develop leading safe sport practices, is getting underway.

The review is part of the university and department's ongoing commitment to ensure a safe, respectful and equitable environment for student-athletes, coaches, staff, volunteers, and participants. The review will thoroughly examine varsity policies, procedures and practices through the lens of safe sport, and compare findings against expected standards and leading practices. Recommendations will help Queen's set the bar towards a 'Platinum Standard' of excellence in sport.

The university is committed to ensuring leading practices are informing the delivery of its programs and routinely conducts reviews of its various departments. In recent years, there have been several issues in collegiate athletics and recreation across North America, including those relating to safe sport policy, athlete wellness, gender inclusion, complaints processes and the coach/athlete power dynamic. As a result, there have been important shifts in standards, approaches, and expectations that will be considered as part of the review. 

The university has retained the Sport Law & Strategy Group (SLSG), an independent sport management company that offers safe sport, legal solutions, strategic communications and leadership development services to sport organizations across Canada. The SLSG has conducted dozens of reviews over the years to assist clients in supporting safer and more inclusive environments. 

"We have been working closely with the SLSG to prepare for this Review and look forward to hearing from student-athletes, coaches, our staff, and other stakeholders as part of an inclusive and transparent process," says Leslie Dal Cin, Executive Director, A&R.  

The SLSG has begun an audit of current policies, procedures and practices, including those related to equity, diversity, inclusion and Indigeneity (EDII), through a document review, an assessment of the department's governance and operations and an environmental scan of other leading universities' comparable varsity programs. 

"Sport communities are considering the systems and structures designed in the 20th century that may no longer fully support the aspirations and requirements of a 21st century sport experience," says SLSG Partner Dina Bell-Laroche. "Athletes, coaches, administrators and volunteers are looking to enhance how they govern, coach, lead, and compete. The way forward is informed by leading practices and inspired by shared values and we are excited to be working with Queen's A&R at this important time."

A consultation process to engage student-athletes, coaches, A&R staff and other stakeholders is set to begin in January. Individuals interested in participating and/or submitting comments to SLSG relating to the Review may do so, in confidence, at anytime through the email QueensReview@sportlaw.ca.

For information about the review, click here

For information about Athletics & Recreation facility and program updates, visit gogaelsgo.com.