Blow The Whistle on Child Abuse | A Letter From The Founders
Posted 07/11/2012 by Sara O’Meara & Yvonne Fedderson
Dear Coaches, Educators and Parents,
At Childhelp, we have always believed that sports encourage children to heal. As America’s leading national nonprofit dedicated to helping victims of abuse and neglect, we have witnessed firsthand the psychological and physical benefits of fitness. Accomplishments on the field raise self-esteem, problem solving on the court can renew confidence and teamwork builds trust.
“Trust” is a key word in safe sportsmanship and the relationship between a child and his or her coaching staff should be based on the essential belief that an adult authority figure is someone of understanding, integrity and security. At our residential treatment facilities, staff members work closely with our little abuse survivors to help them kick the soccer ball farther (as their troubles roll away from them), toss the football a little straighter (while learning they can visualize their lives going any direction they please), swim an extra lap (because through hard work anything is possible) and shoot the basketball a little higher (hopefully closer to their dreams). Through trust, the children in our care believe their futures can be brighter.
When we founded Childhelp in 1959, we vowed to make prevention a pivotal part of our mission. Working with our friends at the Foundation for Global Sports Development, we have created The Childhelp Blow the Whistle on Child Abuse campaign aimed specifically at youth athletes.
Practice makes perfect in sports and it is important to practice prevention education with children to keep them safe. By teaching them what abuse is and actively reporting suspicious activities in youth sports, we can create a community of trust. In real life, there is no instant replay and often only one chance to make the right call. With observant eyes and open hearts, we can blow the whistle on abuse!
For the love of a child,
Sara O’Meara Yvonne Fedderson
Childhelp Chairman & CEO Childhelp President
The Childhelp “Blow the Whistle on Child Abuse” prevention education initiative exists to promote the safe physical, emotional, educational and spiritual development of youth athletes. The program is also designed to aid coaches, educators and parents in providing secure environments where children can reach their ultimate potential.
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