KSYSA Partners with SafeDefend & #NotYourDaughter
To Educate Soccer Clubs, Coaches, and Parents in Kansas on the Best Practices for Safe, Appropriate and Positive Adult/Youth Athlete Relationships
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Olathe, KS (Thursday August 5, 2021) – Kansas State Youth Soccer Association (KSYSA) along with SafeDefend, LLC, the nation’s leading provider of comprehensive crisis management solutions, in collaboration with #NotYourDaughter, an advocacy organization focused on protecting children from predatory behavior. The collaboration will provide comprehensive training for Board of Directors, Club Directors, Administrators, Coaches, Managers, Parents and Players to better understand appropriate adult/youth relationships.
Benefits from this partnership are that SafeDefend will be able to offer training sessions to Club Members and Organizations at a discount to review all club bylaws and rules to make sure they are not broad or outdated to be effective. SafeDefend will also offer policy analysis and support to ensure clubs are safe, positive, and successful places for youth athletes for years to come. In addition, SafeDefend will also be able to educate KSYSA club members on signs of grooming, identification of the beginning stages of an inappropriate relationship, and effective ways for the club to respond to better and fully protect the athletes under it’s care.
Joe Burger, Executive Director of Kanas State Youth Soccer Association said, “KSYSA is excited to partner with SafeDefend & #NotYourDaughter. These partnerships will help us offer services that improve the player experience and give coaches, managers, administrators and club directors the tools and support in creating policies that will help pr otect youth players from situations that may put them at risk. We will also be able to offer the appropriates resources to that youth player if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation with an adult.”
“Providing clubs, coaches and staff with the critical information needed to prevent or effectively respond to potentially harmful situations is vital for the health of youth sports. Empowering KSYSA clubs with the knowledge to ensure adult interactions with youth athletes are positive and safe is critical in the success of the athlete, the club and the sport.” said Jeff Green, President of SafeDefend. #NotYourDaughter will work in conjunction with SafeDefend, LLC to provide essential skills and proactive education in preventing and handling these harmful situations.
“As we continue to see more and more situations where adults and coaches cross the line with youth athletes, our goal is to ensure clubs associated with KSYSA are the best prepared to protect our children and allow our athletes to focus on soccer.” Kristyn Antunucci, founder of #NotYourDaughter.
This initiative is especially important because we have seen numerous cases of popular and experienced coaches facing allegations of misconduct or predatory behavior. The vast majority of influencers on our athletes have only the best intentions for growth and advancement in soccer. Just one adult, crossing the line creates a tragic ripple effect throughout an organization and families.
Most organizations find a generic policy and add it to the coach’s handbook. These policies are too broad and outdated to be effective. A standard review should occur at the beginning of each season if your policy is keeping up with the latest civil and criminal rulings that may have impacted the policy implementation.
SafeDefend can help clubs review their policies or create policies that protect the members/players:
- A good policy should clearly define interactions, behaviors and conduct that is prohibited.
- Enforcement mechanisms, oversight responsibilities, steps for corrective action and procedures for investigation all need to be outlined.
- Items for appeal, reinstatement, removal and referral to law enforcement should be detailed in the policy.
CLUB POLICY REVIEW SESSION
With the goal of eliminating sexual abuse, while protecting the young athletes and your club, the program focuses on key aspects of interactions that cross the line.
- Various topics are presented to assist with understanding and recognizing the signs of prohibited contact, both unprofessional and illegal.
- Training sessions highlight past incidents as opportunities to learn how athletes are groomed and lured into a position of trust by the perpetrators.
- A review of the types of grooming techniques and how perpetrators profile victims are explored.
- These sessions also review state mandated reporting, with types of behaviors or indicators that require notification to authorities based on state statues.
- The program finishes, with the review of best practices for contacting athletes through social media apps, in person practices, during travel and interactions with other adults/parents on the team.
Misconduct Training Session info
SafeDefend™ in coordination with child safety advocates trains coaches, trainers, and youth sports administrators on prevention and detection of inappropriate contact between youth and adults. With the goal of eliminating sex abuse while protecting the young athletes and your club, the program focuses on key aspects of interactions that cross the line.
#NOTYOURDAUGHTER is an advocacy organization focused on protecting children from predatory behavior, strengthening state and federal legislation, updating state statutes that relate to punishing predatory actions, and educating organizations about reporting, grooming, and warning signs to better protect children and keep them safe.
About Kansas State Youth Soccer Association
Kansas State Youth Soccer Association, Inc. (KSYSA) is a member of the US Soccer Federation (USSF) and US Youth Soccer, and was officially recognized in 1981 as the sanctioned youth soccer organization for the state of Kansas. It is a not-for-profit Kansas corporation. Kansas Youth Soccer has a current membership base of over 26,000 youth players, 1,600 active coaches, 1,600 referees and thousands of volunteers through its network of over 30 affiliate member leagues/clubs across the state of Kansas.