USA Swimming hosts Safe Sport Leadership Conference


USafe Sport (small)SA Swimming will hold a Safe Sport Leadership Conference in Colorado Springs Jan. 27-29. The panels begin Jan. 28.

Below is a schedule of panels and a list of speakers who will appear at the conference:

Monday, January 28

7:30-8:00am – Registration 
8:00-8:30am – Bruce Stratton, Opening Comments; Cecil Gordon, Introduction of Britt-Darwin Looney; Britt Darwin-Looney, Goals for Conference 

8:30-9:30am – Dr. Sandy Wurtele: “Scope of the problem: Incidence of child sexual abuse” 

9:30-9:45am – Break 
9:45-11:45am – Dr. Anna Salter: “Coaches who commit sexual abuse” 

11:45am-1:00pm – Lunch 

1:00-2:15pm – Dr. Sandra Kirby: “Abuse in Sport: What makes athletes vulnerable?” 

2:15-3:30pm – Aaron Lundberg: “Creating a culture of safety”

3:30-4:00pm – Break 

4:00-5:00pm – Panel Discussion: Chris Gavagan, Sandra Kirby, Sandy Wurtele 

6:00-7:00pm – Reception 

7:00pm Dinner – Chris Gavagan: Keynote Address 


Tuesday, January 29

8:00-9:30am – Anne Tiivas: “Safeguarding children in and through sport: yesterday, today and tomorrow”

9:30-10:30am – Panel Discussion: Malia Arrington, Anne Tiivas, Susan Woessner 

10:30-11:00am – Britt Darwin-Looney: “Call to Action” 


The Speakers

Britt Darwin-Looney

Britt Darwin-Looney is the Director of Youth Development Services for Praesidium, the national leader in abuse risk management.

She manages Praesidium’s youth development client-base of fitness centers, parks and recreation centers, resorts, camps, Boys & Girls Clubs, and YMCAs. She also conducts trainings, incident investigations, and risk assessments for youth serving organizations nationwide. Darwin-Looney graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas Christian University. She completed her law degree at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law and is licensed to practice law in the state of Texas.

Chris Gavagan
Keynote Speaker

A writer and director with Radiate & Reflect Productions, Chris Gavagan has worked in New York’s independent film world since 1999. In November of 2009, he began production on the documentary Coached into Silence, a feature-length documentary which deals with the sexual abuse of boys within the world of organized sports. The film will tell the stories of a diverse group of boys, from Little League to the Olympic and professional ranks whom the system failed to protect. Far more sinister than those failures of prevention, this film will shed light on the organizational, institutional and legal systems which have conspired in attempting to silence the victims while protecting profits, their reputations and in some cases, the predators themselves.

Gavagan’s own experience of sexual abuse at the hands of his roller hockey coach while growing up in Brooklyn, New York was the genesis of this project, and to some extent forms its spine. But it’s the courageous survivors that he has interviewed which provide its limbs, its lungs, its eyes, its brain, and its beating heart. Beyond stories included in the film, it has been getting to know hundreds of other survivors throughout the course of making the film which truly brought Coached into Silence to life. Chris has had the opportunity to speak and show footage from the film before legislators in numerous State Capitols in support of laws strengthening victim’s rights and child protections, as well as on national television and radio, including The New York Times, New York Daily News, The Atlantic, Anderson Cooper, and NPR.

Dr. Sandra Kirby
Abuse in sport: What makes athletes vulnerable?

Dr. Sandra Kirby is, first and foremost, a sport scientist. She has published numerous books and articles including the Dome of Silence: Sexual Harassment and Abuse in Sport (2000) and Experience Research Social Change: Methods Beyond the Mainstream (2006). She is international expert on abuse in sport, in a member of the International Task Force on Harassment and Abuse in Sport and has worked with the IOC and with UNICEF on child protection projects and publications.

Her sport science is supported by her long career as an athlete – as an Olympian from the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal and medal winner at numerous rowing, marathon canoe racing and cross country skiing races, many of them international. She also is an international FISA umpire for rowing and has recently returned from the 2012 Paralymic Games. She is the Associate Vice-President Academic and Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Winnipeg, Canada.

Aaron Lundberg
Creating a culture of safety

Aaron Lundberg is the Vice President of Account Services for Praesidium. He works with administrators and executive directors of large-scale human service organizations across the United States to develop, implement, and monitor abuse-prevention policies and training programs.

Lundberg specializes in the study and prevention of sexual abuse in organizational settings. With a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington, he has conducted extensive research in the etiology, scope, and prevention of abuse in residential treatment centers. Since joining Praesidium in 2001, Lundberg has assessed, analyzed, and consulted on multiple cases of sexual abuse within a wide range of organizations. He has trained thousands of direct care workers, supervisors, administrators, and parents in preventing the sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults.

Dr. Anna Salter
Coaches who commit sexual abuse

Dr. Anna Salter received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Public Practice from Harvard University and obtained a Master Degree in Child Study from Tufts. She was a Teaching Fellow at both Universities.

Dr. Salter has lived in Madison, Wisconsin since 1996 and consults part-time to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. In addition, she lectures and consults on sex offenders and victims throughout the United States and abroad. She has keynoted conferences on sexual abuse in Australia, New Zealand, Scotland and England. In all, she has conducted trainings in 50 states and 10 countries. Dr. Salter also evaluates sex offenders for civil commitment proceedings and other purposes and has testified as an expert witness in sexual abuse civil and criminal cases.

Dr. Salter is the 1997 winner of the Significant Achievement Award from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers.

Anne Tiivas
Safeguarding children in and through sport: yesterday, today and tomorrow

Anne Tiivas is the director of the Child Protection in Sport Unit in the United Kingdom. Tiivas is responsible for managing the Unit’s staff in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. She also manages relationships with the respective Sports Councils, with CPSU key partners in sport, and with the wider safeguarding world.

Tiivas maintains contact with a range of sports-related trusts and organizations, government departments, the Criminal Records Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority. She is also working with the International Olympic Committee to develop international resources to address sexual harassment and abuse of athletes.

Tiivas is a trained social worker and has been with the CPSU since 2001.

Dr. Sandy Wurtele
Scope of the problem: Incidence of child sexual abuse

Dr. Sandy Wurtele is a psychologist and professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

She currently directs the undergraduate program and chairs the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects. She has been studying childhood sexual abuse (CSA) since 1986 and is recognized as an international expert in CSA prevention. Dr. Wurtele is the author of education and scholarly materials for professionals, parents, and children.

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