WGI Announces New Participant Protection Training Requirement

WGI Announces New Participant Protection Training Requirement

The board of directors of WGI Sport of the Arts, the world’s premier organization producing indoor color guard, percussion, and winds competitions, today announced a sweeping new requirement for all groups participating in WGI events and activities.

As stewards of young people who participate in WGI, protection from all forms of abuse is central to our mission. We strive to provide a trusted, respectful, and inclusive environment where participants feel safe, heard, equipped, and empowered to speak up for themselves. A key component of WGI’s commitment to creating a culture of safety is to equip and empower all within our organization to prevent, identify, and respond to misconduct. Therefore, to take robust and visible action to eradicate emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of participants in WGI, the board of directors is announcing a new policy for mandatory awareness and prevention training:

Effective immediately, all adult instructional and administrative staff having regular contact with or authority over participants of groups in WGI events must complete mandatory abuse prevention training.

All employees, judges, contest personnel, volunteers, committee members, and the board of directors are also subject to this new requirement.

In February 2020, WGI announced a partnership with the U.S. Center for SafeSport to help create policies that will equip and empower all within our organization to prevent, identify, and respond with accountability in tackling sexual misconduct. The “SafeSport™ Trained” Abuse Prevention course is a 90-minute, interactive course entirely online and is required training for all sports in the Olympic movement. WGI has chosen to follow the model set by the U.S. Olympic Committee to require abuse prevention training as a requirement for participation.

“Joining forces with WGI enables us to educate a population of athletes with incredibly varied and unique skill sets,” said Ju’Riese Colón, CEO, U.S. Center for SafeSport. “I am impressed by their commitment to preventing and ending abuse within their organization and even more so that they came to us with a clear plan in mind. We look forward to growing this partnership over the long term.”

“Our plan for this required training has been a focus of many discussions by the board of directors since we met with SafeSport in 2019,” said President Ed Devlin. “This state-of-the-art training, along with required national criminal background checks, will continue to strengthen our participant protection policies and while there is more work to do, it is a positive step towards eliminating misconduct in WGI.”

About the U.S. Center for SafeSport

The U.S. Center for SafeSport is an independent 501c(3) non-profit organization focused on ending all forms of abuse in sport through abuse prevention, education, and accountability.

The Center opened its doors in Denver, Colorado, in March 2017, and soon after became federally-authorized under the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 (which became Public Law No: 115-126 on February 14, 2018). The law entrusts the Center as the exclusive authority to respond to reports of allegations of sexual abuse and sexual misconduct within the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and their recognized National Governing Bodies (NGBs).

The Center is a trusted educational resource for all sports entities, from grassroots amateur sports organizations to professional leagues.