Former Rugby 7s coach in favor of issuing independent review of players’ complaints


Former Canadian Women’s Rugby Sevens coach John Tait says he supports the release of an independent review of the current and former players’ complaint.

“I am unable to speak on any of the details of the independent investigator’s claims and disproportionate findings,” Tait said in a statement on Tuesday. “Although RC (Rugby Canada) should release it publicly, I will fully support them in doing so.

“I know that if the whole truth is revealed, people will see that I have described my behavior as abusive in any way.” It is embarrassing and so confusing for these athletes that I portray myself as a victim of how I or the program treated them. “

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Rugby Canada said in an April 26 release that a third-party investigation by Win Win HR Solutions Inc. was in accordance with its harassment and bullying policy.

“The investigator referred to the conduct described in the complaint which reflects the experiences of 37 NSW7 (National Senior Women Servants) athletes.” However, the investigator determined that the conduct referenced was not behavior that was within the definition of a policy of harassment or bullying, ”Rugby Canada said at the time.

Tait has told Get-Go that the complaints are unfounded and has not violated Rugby Canada’s policies. But he quit his job, saying that “I no longer aspire to play the head coach of the national team or the role of high-performance director.”

Rugby Canada calls its 2013 harassment and bullying policy, under which players’ complaints were filed, “does not allow reports or complaints to be made public.”

“It is common and common practice for organizations to maintain confidentiality throughout the complaints process. This commitment to confidentiality recognizes how difficult it is to come forward with complaints of this nature, balancing the interests of both the complainant (s) and the defendant (s). It was already understood by all sides. “

In March, the governing body called it “the updated Safe Sports Policy Manual”.

Under the new policy, “all items related to the complaint must remain confidential until the process is complete and a decision has been made.”

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Rugby Canada stated, “In accordance with current practices, the policy states that sanctions may be shared in some instances as a result of sanctions.” “An investigative report to the public will not be disclosed without the consent of all parties, as Rugby Canada recognizes the difficulties of coming forward in matters of this nature.”

The Women’s Sevens team, which made a formal complaint to its governing body in January, says it was abandoned by Rugby Canada’s harassment and bullying policy.

In a statement released on April 28 by Captain Gislain Landry, the women stated that their complaint was “the psychological abuse, harassment and / or bullying these athletes feel they were subjected to in a centralized training environment.”

“The athletes of the national team have shown true courage in coming forward to shed light on what they have experienced in an effort to bring meaningful change in their sport,” the statement said.

“We followed the procedures outlined in Rugby Canada’s policy, which was implemented in 2013. We feel that this process failed to protect us and we do not condone the abuse and harassment we admitted.”

The statement was signed by 37 women, three of whom chose to remain anonymous. The team says 37 athletes represent 55 percent who have joined the centralized training program in Langford, B.C.

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Nineteen of the 21 women listed as members of the current squad by Rugby Canada named her in the statement.

The initial complaint moved for an independent review after the arbitration failed to produce a solution.

In their April 28 statement, the players said that there is a need for change and accountability.

“We already know how hard it is to speak and how difficult it is to ask for change. Athletes should never experience high anxiety, depression, racism, eating disorders, low self-worth, or mental illness as part of participating in sports at any level. “

The players called for Rugby Canada to “chart a path for a positive and respectful training environment to understand their experiences and ensure that.”

Rugby Canada CEO Alan Venson says his organization will conduct an independent assessment of women’s servants and other programs, “helping us understand the journey and experiences of our athletes and staff involved with our national teams.”

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“The goal of the evaluation will be to make recommendations to improve our training and competition environment,” Vansen said.

The evaluation will begin after the Summer Olympics and the results will be made public, he said.

Under Tait, the Canadian Sevens women won bronze at the 2016 Olympics, silver at the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens, and gold at the 2015 Pan American Games.

The Women’s Sevens team has been centralized since 2012 with 47-year-old Tait from the former Canadian international team.

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