Sport UK Sport digesting 'climate of fear' findings within British Para-Swimming

12:45  12 october  2017
12:45  12 october  2017 Source:   Press Association

Investigation finds 'climate of fear' within British para-swimming squad

  Investigation finds 'climate of fear' within British para-swimming squad An independent investigation into allegations of bullying within the British para-swimming squad has found a senior coach created a "climate of fear" and used "abusive and derogatory" language towards the athletes. That coach left the programme earlier this year but a second member of staff, who is still in a senior role at British Swimming, has been disciplined for a "failure to ensure management control" and a "lack of empathy" towards athletes. Para-swimming was ParalympicsGB's most successful sport at Rio 2016, winning 47 medals, including 16 golds.

British Swimming has apologised to Paralympic athletes after it was found that a former head coach "created a climate of fear ". Greenwood took up the position in 2013 and was named Sport Coach UK 's 'High Performance Coach of the Year' in 2016.

British Swimming apologises to Paralympic athletes over findings that a coach "created a climate of fear ". The programme received £11m of public funding from UK Sport in the four-year cycle leading up to the Rio Games. 'We were left broken-hearted'.

British Swimming chairman Maurice Watkins has apologised to the athletes and their families for the © Empics Sports Photography Ltd. Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester City v Manchester United - City of Manchester Stadium

UK Sport is considering a response to the independent investigation into allegations of bullying within Great Britain's para-swimming squad which found a senior coach created a "climate of fear".

The senior coach was also found to have used "abusive and derogatory" language towards athletes. The individual concerned left the programme earlier this year, prior to the investigation.

A second member of staff, who is still in a senior role at British Swimming, has been disciplined for a "failure to ensure management control" and a "lack of empathy" towards athletes.

Sports affected by controversies in recent years

  Sports affected by controversies in recent years British Swimming last week apologised for a "climate of fear" in its para-swimming squad after a review into allegations of bullying. It was the latest report into safeguarding in British Olympic and Paralympic sport, while there is also an ongoing investigation in football. Here, Press Association Sport looks at the sports affected.FOOTBALLThe Football Association launched an independent review, led by Clive Sheldon QC, into allegations of historic sex abuse. The review into events from 1970 to 2005 is seeking to establish what the national governing body knew of abuse and what action it took.

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Para-swimming was ParalympicsGB's most successful sport at the Rio 2016 Games, winning 47 medals, including 16 golds.

UK Sport, the funding agency which distributes money to Olympic and Paralympic sports, said in a statement: "UK Sport can confirm that we are now in receipt of the report from British Swimming.

"We will now carefully consider it before confirming what if any actions we may need to take in response to the findings."

The para-swimming investigation is the latest inquiry into practices at sports under UK Sport's jurisdiction.

The Great Britain cycling team was subject of an independent review which in June found a "culture of fear" in Britain's leading Olympic and Paralympic sport.

There have been claims of alleged bullying and abuse in British Rowing, British Canoeing and allegations of discrimination in British Bobsleigh.

Swimming coach Greenwood could be stripped of 2016 award

  Swimming coach Greenwood could be stripped of 2016 award The coach at the centre of the British para-swimming team bullying scandal Rob Greenwood could be stripped of an award. UK Coaching, the British agency for sports coaches, would not comment publicly on Greenwood but Press Association Sport understands talks are ongoing about the 2016 High Performance Coach of the Year prize he shared with British Gymnastics head coach Eddie van Hoof.The results of an independent investigation into the Manchester-based squad run by Greenwood until February this year were revealed by British Swimming on Thursday.

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British Swimming, the governing body of para-swimming, instigated an inquiry following complaints made to the British Athletes Commission (BAC) in October 2016.

The BAC - the body that represents Olympians and Paralympians – had received complaints from young athletes and their families about their treatment within the British Swimming set-up.

Thirteen athletes, many of whom are still members of the Manchester-based squad, and 10 members of staff were interviewed before the conclusion of the investigation was announced on Wednesday.

In a statement, British Swimming said: "As regards the one member of staff who has left, it was found he had created a climate of fear for some athletes in the British Para-Swimming programme and there had also been breaches of the staff code by communicating with athletes in an abusive manner, as well as using derogatory terms to describe athletes.

Canadian club drops Rob Greenwood after bullying report

  Canadian club drops Rob Greenwood after bullying report A Canadian swimming club has "parted ways" with former British para-swimming head coach Rob Greenwood after reading about his central involvement in a bullying scandal. Greenwood left his role with British Swimming in February shortly before an independent investigation was launched into his alleged mistreatment of athletes on the Manchester-based squad.

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"As for the second member of staff, it was found that athletes were not managed to the appropriate level, there was failure to ensure management control and lack of empathy was shown towards athletes.

"Communication with both athletes and their parents/guardians was also found to need improvement. The member of staff acknowledged mistakes had been made."

As neither individual has been named by British Swimming, which claims it cannot do so for legal reasons, it is unclear what disciplinary action or remedial training the main offender has received.

British Swimming chairman Maurice Watkins has written to the athletes and their families and apologised for the "unacceptable behaviours and comments".

BAC chair Victoria Aggar welcomed the findings and said she looks forward to working with British Swimming, and all other national governing bodies, to improve athlete welfare.

Ross Murdoch: Adversity has made me stronger .
Ross Murdoch believes he has learnt a lot about himself since winning gold at Glasgow 2014. The swimmer is among the first athletes selected to represent Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in 2018, but has endured some difficult times since bursting onto the stage in Glasgow three years ago.Murdoch struggled with illness following what he described as "the biggest high of my life", and struggled to perform to his best at the 2016 Olympics but has since got back to somewhere near his best with a promising showing at the World Championships earlier this year.

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