If you haven't yet read the informative article written by Child Lures Prevention, an education partner of USA Gymnastics, in the November issue of Technique, click here to read the article and learn about the techniques offenders use to "groom" children - to slowly lure and manipulate youngsters into abuse, and warning signs of abuse.
When clubs are armed with this type of information, there is one obvious response - BE ALERT!
"No one wants to think about the possibility that sexual predators might be lurking in our gyms and programs. But if we want to keep our focus on developing strong, confident, and healthy kids within our communities, we must create an environment that is as safe for those children as possible. As gym owners we owe a responsibility to those children to be ever alert to the fact that predators have always and will always seek opportunities to gain access to our students."
Now is the time to expand our collective thinking about a safe gymnastics environment beyond the obviously important physical-safety elements [e.g., mats, spotting] to include a focus on the environment in which we operate.
Let's continue to show our gymnasts and their parents how much clubs care about them and their safety!