What is USEF SafeSport Training? And Why Do We Need It?

Photo by Lauren Mauldin

BY KAITLYN YOURKOSKI

When Did Safe Sport Training Become A Part of USEF?

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) announced on August 27, 2018 that all adult USEF members must complete free SafeSport Training. All members who renewed their membership or joined USEF before December 1st must complete the training by January 1, 2019. Members who joined or renewed memberships after December 1, 2018, will have a 30-day grace period to complete the training. If the training is not completed, members cannot participate in activities involved with USEF.  

The course is based on the member’s birthday, not their amateur or junior status. Those involved with USEF must complete the training- including amateurs, board members, coaches, chefs d’equipe, competition managers, farriers, human physios, juniors (over the age of 18), licensed officials, owners who have a yearly to lifetime membership, professionals, selectors, staff, and trainers.

USEF President Murray Kessler said regarding the training, “I am very proud of the work done in drafting this proposal and the Board of Directors which approved this critical rule designed to keep our children safe while they enjoy, excel, and advance in our sport.”

What is SafeSport Training?

SafeSport Training is a program designed to keep athletes of all sports safe from misconduct. The course is mainly focused on protecting minors from the misconduct and abuse. USEF believes that education an awareness are vital for eliminating misconduct in the sport

The training is a 90-minute course and involves three sections. These sections include Emotional and Physical Misconduct, Mandatory Reporting, and Sexual Misconduct Awareness Education. All three sections must be completed to satisfy requirements made by USEF. The time commitment is very manageable, and it does not have to be completed in one sitting. The program can be paused and restarted as many times as needed.

The training is easy to access. To do so, first log into your USEF account. On the member dashboard there is a SafeSport Training section. After clicking on that, it will lead you to a link to access the SafeSport Website. Then you will have to create an account on the U.S. Center for SafeSport website.

USEF will be notified of your completion of the course within 24-48 hours. On your USEF member dashboard, it will state “SafeSport Training Completed.”  Once you have completed the full SafeSport training course, you must take a shorter refresher course every year.

What To Do If You Are A Survivor Of Abuse?

It is very hard to recover from abuse, and this course may be an emotional trigger for abuse survivors. If a person feels that this could be the case for them, there are three people to contact: Sonja Keating ([email protected]), Teresa Roper ([email protected]), or the U.S. Center for SafeSport ([email protected]).  

Why is SafeSport Training Important?

SafeSport Education is important for USEF members because in order to prevent abuse, one needs to know the signs of abuse and misconduct and how to prevent it.  The training will help members better know how to deal with situations of abuse and misconduct. Knowing this information should help members monitor and support one another, thus limiting physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. The goal is to eliminate all abuse, but especially for younger members, who may not be aware of what is happening to them. Overall, the training will make the community a safer and more educated place.