Saturday, November 08, 2014

Australia: "Senior Olympic swim team official Greg Hodge’s coaching membership is under review amid allegations of inappropriate behavior towards a junior female swimmer."

The Telegraph Newspaper reported that Coach Greg Hodge is in some sincere trouble for kissing a 15-year-girl on the deck at a meet. Yeah, pretty stupid and overt even if there was no sexual intent at all.
"... One of the main incidents under scrutiny took place at a state championship in Canberra in September 2011. Greg Hodge, a one-time Olympic swim official and former WAIS high performance director, shocked onlookers when he kissed a teenage girl on the cheek on pool deck.

Coach Brett Tongue confirmed he complained about the incident and coach Michael Shaw confirmed it was formally reported to Swimming WA.

Despite the incident, the former Australian swim team, NSW Institute of Sport and WAIS manager kept his job and has been a coach at the West Coast swim club.

Mr Shaw said Swimming Western Australia was informed after it emerged Mr Hodge had kissed the schoolgirl.

The previous Swimming Australia President, Dave Urqhart, and CEO Kevin Neil said they were never made aware or received a complaint about Mr Hodge kissing the girl from Swimming Western Australia...."

Sounds like Swimming Australia does not have a very effective process for handling complaints or some senior members are playing the "I know nothing" card so as to avoid competence reviews or criticisms?

USA Swimming officials tried that too and it did not work to well.

In business and such they have a term called "best practices" a term that originated in a 2001 book called "Good to Great" by Jim Collins.

Though I still endorse "no one-on-one meetings" between a  coach and a swimmer and that a parent or an adult be present during meetings as a best practice, I also endorse an additional principle that would reduce the potential for sexually abusive relationships dramatically.

Statistically this best practice would reduce sexual abuse incidents by at least 96%. It's simple and would also opens up the male dominated industry to women in an important way.

Girls should be coached by women only and boys be coached by men only. I picked the number 96%-reduction presuming that 96%-of the population is "straight" and the remaining population is gay or bi-sexual. It seems that most abuse incidents are heterosexual in nature, thus separating genders would decimate abuse complaints and give the sport more credibility.

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