‘Safe Sport’ policy signed by SLBF

Picture by Kandula Yatawara NOCSL

Sri Lanka Basketball Federation (SLBF) penned a ground breaking agreement to introduce the ‘Safe Sport’ policy in sport mooted by the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee.

Signing of the ‘Safe Sport’ policy is a bid by the SLBF to layout ground rules in making sure that all participants of the game are kept safe.

Explaining their stance, newly elected SLBF President Aelian Gunawardena said “Basketball, like any other sport, particularly a sport that is played amongst females as much as males, require that the players are kept safe when it comes to the coaching staff, management staff and the parents. Essentially it has to be a safe place for all participants.”

Having been elected to the chair two months ago, Gunawardane said, one of the very first acts of the newly appointed governing body of the SLBF was to appoint a new code of conduct taking salient points from institutions like the NOCSL and the other sports bodies.

“It also has to be safe among the players as well. You have to be mindful of seniors bullying the juniors and harassing them in other ways. It is important that it has to be a safe place for the juniors to be in the sport. I noticed this even in schools, the younger players may be qualified to play along with the seniors, but are weary owing to the said reasons.  But if there is a laid down policy which spells the way that a player or anyone connected to the team could be penalized through the federations to the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka it might be a good way of making them feel safer and I believe this is the whole purpose of it. Then even if there is a predator they would be mindful and back off”.

He also added that when there is a policy laid down on paper there is a mechanism to address particular situations.

The agreement was signed at the NOCSL premises with the participation of Niloo Jayathilaka -Women’s Committee Chairperson NOCSL, Suresh Subramaniam- President NOCSL, Aelian Gunawardena – President SLBF and Chandana Liyanage – Assistant Secretary NOCSL and Secretary SLBF.