Alex McLin, Director of the Gymnastic Ethics Foundation (GEF), delivered a video message at the virtual Forum “Performance with Respect”, organised by the German Gymnastics Federation (Deutscher Turner-Bund, DTB) on 8 May 2021.
The event formed part of the ongoing change process regarding the structure and culture of gymnastics in Germany, aimed at ensuring the well-being of all gymnasts. The Forum discussed key aspects for successful, non-violent, performance-oriented sport from different angles.
In his message, Alex McLin said: “There are many positive examples that sporting success can be achieved while training in a safe environment. It’s important to spread these examples and change attitudes, at national and international level. Only then can we achieve positive and sustainable change even if this may take a while. Forums like yours today are important means in this process. We must go beyond establishing policies and processes, which is important but the easier part. Changing attitudes, changing the culture is much harder and will take longer.”
He added: “Other National Federations are currently engaged in similar processes to that of the DTB. Thanks to more and more courageous athletes speaking out about their negative experiences, independent reviews have taken place in a number of countries. […] Sadly, all reviews confirm similar abuse patterns. However, the conclusions, recommendations and actions arising from these findings vary in their extent and emphasis. I strongly believe this time of shared, difficult experience provides valuable opportunities for National Federations to learn from each other.”
Click on the clip to listen to the full message.
Click here to read the related news story published by the DTB (in German).