Parents Resources

Supporting parents and guardians
to support their young athletes

Keeping Kids Safe

Sport Manitoba believes in being proactive in ensuring sports in our province are safe and enjoyable so that all our participants remain Active for Life.

Sport Injuries

Our Sport Manitoba Clinic now offers prevention and treatment services including a sport medicine physician, chiropractic services, physical therapy, massage therapy, nutrition, and sport psychology. The Sport Manitoba Clinic offers Functional Movement Screens that are a valuable tool to help reduce the risk of sport related injuries. The screen identifies physical imbalances, limitations, and weaknesses, as well as establishes a functional baseline to mark progress. Read more...

We recently launched a new concussion program designed to inform the sports community about the key issues related to concussions, whether they happen on the field, ice or court...learn more.

Abuse

Community sport needs to address the issue of child safety, specifically as it pertains to harassment and abuse. Coaches and parents/guardians need to work together to help keep our kids safe. Parents play a critical role in protecting children. Understanding child sexual abuse and implementing strategies to prevent it, can help you build safe environments for your child and other children in the community. Here are some suggestions:

Respect in Sport Certified: Keeping sport and kids safe

In 2006, Sport Manitoba launched a program called Respect in Sport (Sheldon Kennedy helped develop it). Respect in Sport - Coaches helps us keep kids safe through a simple and convenient online training course for coaches and sport leaders. It is designed as a tool to assist coaches in identifying and dealing with abuse, neglect, harassment, and bullying in sport. As a parent, ask if your coach has their Respect in Sport certificate. As a coach, encourage the adults around you to take this simple online course. In 2016, we launched an updated program for our coaches to take. Hockey Manitoba requires parents to take the the parent version of Respect in Sport.

Coach Training

Canada has a National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) that offers a course called Make Ethical Decisions (MED). This course helps coaches identify the legal, ethical, and moral implications of difficult situations that present themselves in the world of team and individual sport. NCCP also has a Commit to Kids for Coaches online training that addresses the importance of understanding boundaries, sexual misconduct and reporting of inappropriate behaviour. As a parent, ask if your coach has taken MED or Commit to Kids. As a coach, encourage the adults around you to take these simple courses.

Screening Process

Parents and coaches should look to get involved with organizations or activities that have screening policies. Good screening processes can include volunteer interviews, reference checks, criminal record checks and child abuse registry checks. If your organization/activity doesn't have a screening process, Sport Manitoba can help. Contact our Sport Resource Centre.

Rule of Two

The Rule of Two serves to protect minor athletes in potentially vulnerable situations by ensuring that more than one adult is present.  Vulnerable situations can include closed doors meetings, travel, and training environments. As a parent, try to avoid situations that place your child alone with a coach or volunteer, particularly behind closed doors. As a coach, you need to ensure there is at least one other person, preferably another adult, with you and your athlete. Leave the door open or meet in public areas. Encourage organizations to create and implement policies and procedures that limit the instances where these situations are possible. The same rule applies to online communication. Parents can ask to be copied on email or text message communication and coaches do not need to talk to their athletes in chat rooms or via social media direct messaging.

Trust Your Gut

Listen when your instinct softly whispers that something might not be right. Don't ignore it. In fact, turn the volume up and tune in. Ask questions. And most importantly, get help (see #6)

Sport Support Line

As a coach or a parent, you might encounter a situation in sport centering around bullying or harassment that you are uncertain about how to address. Talk to someone who can help.  For support, consultation, referral or resources please call toll free 1-877-737-9875. For any suspected incidents of abuse, harassment, bullying and hazing call this number immediately. A trained Support Line staff person will be available to assist with questions or concerns. 

Additional Resources

Sport Manitoba has teamed up with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to share their Commit to Kids resources. The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is a national charitable organization dedicated to the personal safety of all children. Material includes information on the coach-athlete relationship, guidelines for interactions between adults and athletes, as well as how to report inappropriate behaviour and child sexual abuse.

Click here for Safe Sport Information Sheets

Click here to find out what all parents should know about child safety.

Staying in Sport

Kids who have fun playing a sport are more likely to stay active and healthy for their entire lives. They also have a better chance of becoming a top athlete. So make it fun, and make it quality!

Getting Kids Started in Sport

Let’s start with this resource: When is my child old enough for organized sports?

Scroll down this page and you'll find some resources to help you select quality sport programs. Once you have an understanding of what a good sport program contains, it's time to find one.

Sport Manitoba recognizes over 70 provincial sport organizations (PSOs).  Each of them are autonomous organizations that run their own programs. Often PSOs are partnering with regional associations, clubs, leagues, etc. to deliver their sport in Manitoba. Please find a drop down menu at the top of our website with links to each of our sport partners.

Staying in Sport

Our goal is to keep Manitobans active and participating in Sport for Life. It's helpful to start with understanding why kids quit sports. Read the article here (and look around the site, there are lots of other great resources).

Financial resources can be found by following our links to our grants and our scholarships as well as KidSport. We also recommend talking to your sports' provincial sport organization (PSO) to see what financial resources they might be able to offer you.

Feature Resources

  • Maximizing the Sport Experience for your Child
  • True Sport
  • Canadian Sport for Life (The Sport for Life Society (S4L) is recognized as the global experts on the Sport for Life movement, Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD), and physical literacy development.)
  • LTAD for Parents (This document provides an overview of the LTAD model, describing each of the seven stages in easy-to-understand language. It gives solid and concrete advice on what parents can do to encourage their child’s current physical, and athletic development and suggests tips to help them assist their child as they move into the later stages of development.)

Find Quality Sport Programs

Active for Life

Sport Parent Guide

A Guide for Sport Parents is a resource handbook for parents of children participating in sport.

The guide is co-authored by University of Winnipeg sport psychologists Cal Botterill and Tom Patrick. It is designed to be a quick read and reference while addressing common issues to youth sports and the roles and responsibilities of parents in dealing with these issues.

A Guide for Sport Parents (English)

A Guide for Sport Parents (French)

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