Safe Sport

What is Safe Sport?

When Sport for Life refers to safe sport, we mean the design, development, delivery, evaluation and knowledge mobilization of quality sport and physical literacy experiences that consider and strive to ensure each participant feels physically, psychologically, emotionally and culturally safe.

To Sport for Life, ‘safe’ means being protected, and not having to worry about danger, risk or injury. Safe sport isn’t just about whether participants are physically safe, but perhaps more importantly, do they feel safe? What safe means to each person might differ vastly.

Our team describes safe as:

We acknowledge safety (physical, psychological, social-emotional, and cultural) is fluid and subjective and therefore we appreciate that others may interpret the terms differently than how we have described them.

Feeling secure and trusting of those around you to be vulnerable, courageous and authentic.

Sharing ideas, questions, concerns or making mistakes without causing harm to one another’s well-being.

Environments where danger or maltreatment from physical conduct does not impede participation.

The ability to embrace, respect, preserve, and celebrate each person’s culture(s) without discrimination.

Vision & Values


For each of our representatives and stakeholders to have equitable opportunities to participate in safe quality sport and physical literacy development experiences via access to education and professional development, and a robust and independent safe sport mechanism.


  • Collaboration – We firmly believe that a cross-sectoral, harmonized approach driven by partnerships will lead to sustainable safe sport and physical activity environments.
  • Innovation – Systemic change requires innovative practices, especially when existing systems and approaches are contributing to unsafe sport and physical activity environments for participants.
  • Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility (EDIA) – A holistic approach to safe sport cannot be achieved without EDIA.
  • Participant-Centered – If we want every participant to feel safe, participants need to be at the heart of everything we do from design through to knowledge mobilization.
  • Evidence-Informed – Both emerging research and consultation of our representatives and stakeholders should guide our safe sport initiatives.
  • Kaizen – We acknowledge that this work is complex and multi-faceted and will require continuous improvement, even when it is hard.
  • FUN – We feel that optimizing fun and enjoyment are critical to achieving safer quality sport and physical activity environments.


Sport for Life is committed to creating and maintaining safe sport and physical activity environments. Sport for Life is a Program Signatory of the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner’s Safe Sport Mechanism – Abuse-Free Sport.

As a Program Signatory, Sport for Life has adopted the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS).

Read the UCCMS here.

Alignment to the Sport for Life Strategic Plan

Sport for Life’s Safe Sport goals align with its 2021-2024 Strategic Plan in the following ways:

Strategic Priority 1 – Foster Stronger Relationships

  • Forge strong partnerships with leaders in safe sport mobilization
  • Collaborate with leaders in safe sport to design and deliver resources, training and tools
  • Mobilize safe sport principles and recommended practices to inform policy, programs and investments

Strategic Priority 2 – Enhance Product/Knowledge Delivery and Mobilization

  • Embed emerging safe sport principles and recommended practices into long-term development, quality sport and physical literacy knowledge resources
  • Develop complementary resources that explore safe sport within long-term development (e.g. athlete development matrix), quality sport and physical literacy development
  • Enhance safe sport expertise provided to organizations and leaders as part of long-term development, quality sport and physical literacy development support services

Strategic Priority 3 – Optimize Business Performance

  • Implement robust safe sport policies, procedures, guidelines and strategies
  • Provide safe sport professional development opportunities to representatives and stakeholders
  • Actively engage staff and representatives in safe sport initiatives
  • Monitor and evaluate safe sport initiatives to inform feedback loops
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