Sport organizations joined the B.C. government in declaring a commitment to erase bullying in sport at this year’s Pink Shirt Day, taking the success of government’s Erase Bullying Strategy to highlight sports.
Premier Christy Clark addressed viaSport’s “Sportscape” conference in Burnaby – alongside Pink Shirt Day founder Travis Price, Vancouver Canucks alumnus Darcy Rota, former professional soccer player and assistant coach for the Whitecaps Carl Valentine and Olympic medallist Karina Leblanc – as hundreds of provincial sport representatives pledged their commitment to a campaign aimed at strengthening B.C.’s sports sector to be a safe, welcoming and positive environment for all participants – no matter their age or ability.
As part of their commitment, organizations met to discuss strategies to enhance education, awareness and leadership to promote a positive sport culture for all those who may be vulnerable to bullying – athletes, parents, volunteers, coaches or officials. To date, 78 have signed the declaration of commitment to erase bullying in sport on behalf of the 670,000 B.C. athletes and citizens they represent, and 579 individuals have signed the online pledge.
Another Pink Shirt Day celebration is planned for 12:15 p.m. today in Victoria. Minister of Education Mike Bernier and Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Peter Fassbender along with MLAs, media and local elementary and high-school students, will join together for a friendly road hockey game at the front of the Parliament Buildings.
This year marks B.C.’s 10th Pink Shirt Day and the fifth year since B.C. launched its ERASE Bullying Strategy to promote inclusion and support the diversity of all B.C. students in the school system. The success of this strategy has resulted in 15,000 educators and community partners trained to address bullying and threats, complemented by 60 dedicated safe school co-ordinators and teams in place in all school districts and many independent schools.
Premier Christy Clark –
"Bullying isn’t a rite of passage, it’s not an initiation, and it’s never okay. By standing together, we can end bullying in school, the workplace, and the locker room.”
Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development –
“The B.C. government has made it clear that bullying has no place in our schools, communities or within sports. By signing the Declaration of Commitment to erase bullying in sport, provincial sport organizations are helping to ensure bullying is not tolerated in our locker rooms, on our playing fields or in our bleachers. Together we can provide a safe space in which our athletes truly shine, our coaches and volunteers are supported and families across B.C. feel welcomed in sport.”
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education –
“Pink Shirt Day has been hugely successful in raising awareness about different types of bullying in years past. This year, we’re bringing a new type of bullying to light that isn’t often talked about. When schools, community organizations, parents and students work together, we start to make great strides to ERASE bullying in sport.”
- Pink Shirt Day was founded by Nova Scotian teenagers Travis Price and David Shepherd to protest the harassment of a grade nine boy in their school.
- Five years ago, the Government of B.C. launched the ERASE Bullying Strategy which is a comprehensive prevention and intervention strategy to address bullying, promote inclusion and help create a safer environment in our schools.
- This year, the Province of British Columbia, together with viaSport and provincial and multi-sport organizations, are signing a declaration of commitment to stand together against bullying in sport, recognize that bullying in any form, cannot be tolerated by anyone in sport at any level – athletes, parents, coaches and officials.
- 78 Provincial sport organizations have signed the Declaration of Commitment to ERASE bullying in sport on behalf of the 670,000 B.C. athletes and citizens they represent.
- 579 individuals, sport leaders, and athletes have pledged online to ERASE bullying in sport.
- Post a positive message on social media using #ERASEBullying. When you include #PinkShirtPromise, Shaw will donate $1 to bullying prevention programs in B.C.
- viaSport is a not-for-profit organization created by the provincial government in 2011 as a legacy of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Its mandate is to increase awareness, opportunity and participation in sport across the province.
- The Government of B.C. invests close to $50 million in sport annually, including $16 million to viaSport in 2016-17, which in turn funds more than 70 provincial sport organizations with over 670,000 members.
- Since 2001, B.C. has invested more than $1 billion to support sport in the province – more than any other government in provincial history.
To take the pledge to erase bullying in sport and view videos of sport leaders committed to the campaign visit: http://viasport.ca/erasebullying
For more on ERASE Bullying, with resources for parents, students and schools, visit: http://erasebullying.ca
For information on Pink Shirt Day visit: http://pinkshirtday.ca/