Micheline Calmy-Rey, the President of the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation, today presented a report about the Foundation’s mission, activities and achievements to representatives of 130 member federations of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), who are currently attending the 83rd FIG Congress. The event takes place from 5 to 7 November 2021 in Antalya, Turkey.
The creation of the GEF was one of the key decisions adopted at the last FIG Congress in 2018. Since becoming operational in 2019, the independent body has dealt with more than 80 cases, 45 of which are currently open. About 25 cases were dealt with by the Foundation in each of 2019 and 2020, and already 36 in 2021.
Micheline Calmy-Rey highlighted in this regard: “The large majority of cases fall under the Foundation’s safeguarding section, which includes reporting and investigations. We strongly believe in using every reported case to strengthen national safeguarding systems where necessary.”
National Federations have a crucial role to play in safeguarding athletes and other participants in gymnastics from harassment and non-accidental violence. The GEF can step in when national systems do not exist or are insufficient.
Regarding the GEF’s task to oversee compliance with all FIG relevant rules, the GEF President noted: “We are paying close attention to national efforts to improve safeguarding processes and encourage all of you as key stakeholders to carefully review your Federations’ state of compliance with FIG policies and procedures.”
The Foundation took the FIG Congress as an opportunity to launch a new video clip, which aims to raise awareness about the GEF’s mission and its support services for the gymnastics community. In less than 90 seconds the clip outlines the characteristics of a safe sporting environment as well as the nature of abuse and harassment; it calls for zero tolerance for any abusive or negligent behaviour and explains how the GEF can help with its confidential reporting mechanism. The clip also reiterates the various ways that the GEF may be contacted and underscores the key message: “Don’t wait to report an incident!”
The new clip will be featured across GEF communication channels and presented at various occasions.