Government of Canada Announces New Independent Safe Sport Mechanism

July 6th, 2021 Press Releases



On behalf of Respect Group and myself, personally, I would like to applaud Sport Canada for their commitment and funding of an Independent Safe Sport Mechanism and the awarding of that contract to the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC). I am honoured to have been part of this national movement to improve sport and ensure that athletes that do come forward have a safe, unbiased place to report and be heard without repercussion. This announcement has also given me the opportunity to reflect on the past 25 years;


  • When I first came forward with my story, in 1996, many did not believe me or claimed it was an isolated incident, today we know that IS NOT the case
  • When Hockey Canada introduced the Speak Out program for coaches in 1997, it was the first of its kind and, in spite of the naysayers, it was successfully implemented for the benefit of all those kids playing hockey
  • In 2004, when Respect Group introduced RESPECT IN SPORT on-line to prevent abuse, bullying, harassment and discrimination (BAHD) many leaders within sport were still in denial of the magnitude of this problem including the impact left in its wake for not only the individual but also the organization as a whole.  I am very grateful for those brave leaders that made prevention education their priority early on to help give confidence to the many others that followed.
  • Leadership has been the key behind mandatory RESPECT training which I am proud to say has now reached over 1.6 Million Canadians and spans the full range of sport stakeholders; not just coaches but officials, parents, athletes, staff and volunteers.

Culture change takes time but today, with this announcement, it further reminds me that, with leadership, it is indeed possible.


Sheldon Kennedy CM AOE OM

Member Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Member Order of Hockey in Canada

Co-Founder Respect Group



Respect Group, established in 2004 by Co-Founders Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil, is Canada’s leading on-line training provider focused exclusively on the prevention of abuse, bullying and harassment and discrimination. Offering certification programs for community/sport organizations, schools and the workplace, Respect Group has certified over 1.6 Million Canadians.


For more information on Respect Group, please visit


For more information, please contact:
Nicole Heisler

Marketing Manager


To see the Government of Canada Press Releases Please visit:

English :

French :


Copyright © Respect Group Inc. All rights reserved.