Sandra Kirby PhD, O.C. (Sociology of Sport)
Sandra (Hon. Secretary, SSI) is Professor Emerita at the University of Winnipeg, Canada where until recently she was Associate Vice-President (Academic), and Dean of Graduate Studies. A former Olympic rower (1976), she is a competitive cross-country skier, a masters rowing coach and was a FISA international umpire for rowing until the end of 2014. Sandra completed the first national quantitative survey of sexual harassment and abuse amongst Canadian Olympic and high performance athletes (1996). In 1993 she was one of the founding members of the WomenSport International Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Abuse (Chaired by Celia Brackenridge) and was also a member of a UNICEF expert working group advising on research and policy to prevent violence against children in sport from 2007-2009. She has authored a number of books including The Dome of Silence: Sexual Harassment and Abuse in Sport (Fernwood, 2000) and Experience Research and Social Change: Methods Beyond the Mainstream (Broadview 2006). Her latest books are Playing It Forward: 50 Years of Women and Sport in Canada (with Demers, Greaves and Lay), 2013 – in which she authored a chapter on sexual abuse in sport and another on gender verification and Experience, Research Social change (2016). Currently she is on the Advisory Committee for the “Out in the Fields”, a study of some 10,000 athletes and homophobia. She is also the leader of the Canadian educational reform programme for training national and international rowing umpires.
Sandra’s selected awards include:
- Canadian Rowing Hall of Fame inductee 2019
- Canada Sorts Hall of Fame inductee 2018
- Rowing Canada Aviron, National Umpire of the Year Award, 2014, Manitoba Umpire of the Year 2016
- Rowing Canada Aviron, 40 Year Service Award, for volunteer and continuous service to the sport of rowing in Canada, 2016
- Selected only Canadian FISA umpire for Paralympic Games, London 2012
- Selected to Pan American Games FISA Jury, 2011
- Selected to FISA international Juries for World Cups, Under-23 Championships and World Masters Games
- YMCA/YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, 2003
- CAAWS Breakthrough Award: ‘Herstory’ category, 2001
- Governor General’s Medal – Canada 125 Medal for Service to Canada, Governor General of Canada, Ottawa, 1993
- Canadian Olympian (1976 – rowing); winner of numerous national and international honours as a single sculler and later as a masters-age rower and cross-country skier
Kari Fasting PhD
Kari was the first female professor in sport science in the Nordic countries (1987) and the first rector of the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences and is now Professor Emerita. She is past president of the International Association for Sociology of Sport, and in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field of sociology of sport she was awarded an honorary membership in 2011. Prof. Fasting is a founding member and past President of WomenSport International (WSI), and represents this organisation in the International Working Group for Women in Sport (IWG). Kari was a track and field athlete (400-800m), participating in 11 Norwegian Championships, and representing Norway on the national team from 1962 to 1970. She also served as member of the Executive Board of the Norwegian Amateur Track and Field Association from 1976 to 1980.
Kari’s research has been concerned with various aspects related to “equality and diversity” in sport, with a focus on sport and exercise in the lives of women. For the past 20 years her research has been centred on sexual harassment and abuse in sport. Based on her research projects in Norway, Czech Republic and Greece she has published extensively internationally in this field. She has also worked as an expert consultant in this area for major organisations, including: the International Olympic Committee (2006 –), the Norwegian Confederation of Sports, the Czech Olympic Committee, UNICEF and recently the EU. She is often a keynote speaker internationally. Her empirical work has been applied to programmes internationally for preventing sexual harassment and abuse from occurring. Her latest empirical studies, have recently been carried out in Southern Africa under contract with the Norwegian Olympic, Paralympic and Confederation of Sport (NIF), assisting them in a project regarding increasing awareness and understanding of gender issues in sport. A large part of this project was to assist NIF in the development of participant-based recommendations to reduce gender-based violence using Zambia as a programme model to contribute to awareness of the issues. She has also worked as an expert consultant in this area for major organisations, including: the International Olympic Committee (2006 –), the Norwegian Confederation of Sports, the Czech Olympic Committee, UNICEF, the European Commission, and recently Council of Europe. She is often a keynote speaker internationally. Her empirical work has been applied to programmes internationally for preventing sexual harassment and abuse from occurring. One of her latest empirical studies, have been carried out in Southern Africa under contract with the Norwegian Olympic, Paralympic and Confederation of Sport (NIF), assisting them in a project regarding increasing awareness and understanding of gender issues in sport. In connection with this she chaired an empirical study on the prevalence of sexual harassment and abuse among athletes and coaches in Zambia.
Kari’s selected awards and nominations include:
- International Fellow to the American Academy of Kinesiology and PE (AAKPE), 1992
- Prize for the best oral presentation (psycho-social sciences) at the Pre-Olympic Scientific Congress, Brisbane, 2000
- USA Women’s Sport Foundation’s Darlene A. Kluka Women’s Sports and Physical Activity Research Award, 2005
- Distinguished Service Award of the United States Sports Academy, 2006
- Honorary doctorate, University of Bern’s Institute for Sport Sciences, 2013
- Finland’s prestigious Special Prize at the Finnish Sports Galla —the Fair Play Award, 2014
- Honorary doctorate, Faculty of Education and Society, Malmö University, Sweden, 2015
- Honorary Doctor of Science, Chichester University, England, 2015
Liz Twyford – Sports Programmes Specialist, Unicef UK
Liz Twyford has worked for Unicef UK for over 10 years, in a role focused on protecting and promoting children’s rights in, around, and through sport.
She has been involved in supporting the delivery and evaluation of International Inspirational, the international social legacy programme of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Unicef UK’s partnership with the Commonwealth Games, including the development of new bid criteria which reference human rights, and the coordination of the International Safeguarding Children in Sport Working Group.
She is a member of the FIFA expert safeguarding working group and also helped shape the bid criteria for the FIFA 2026 World Cup, which now make reference to the meaningful participation of children and child rights.
Prior to joining UNICEF, Liz spent many years in the development field, living and working for more than 2 years in Bhutan where she supported Save the Children’s community sport work, and for a year in Cameroon, supporting sport for development programmes in the Northwest province. She has worked in more than 15 countries over the past 10 years, with a focus on supporting community mobilisation, sport for development and protecting and promoting children’s rights in, around and through sport.
Dr Jenny Shute, MBE
Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS) Lead Welfare Officer; Vice-Chair FIS Medical Committee; medical liaison member Youth and Children’s Coordination Group.
Jenny was Lead Welfare Officer for the British National Ski Association from 2002 until 2010. During this time, she developed all safeguarding policies and procedures, and led their implementation. She was responsible for background checks on staff and volunteers, and sat on the case management committee. She continues to sit on the Safeguarding in British Snowsports steering group.
Jenny, along with other British FIS members, was responsible for proposing a safeguarding clause to the FIS Statutes and ICR at FIS Congress 2016, subsequently adopted.
Jenny represented FIS on the virtual task force for the IOC Toolkit for prevention of harassment and abuse in sport, and took part in the formal launch of the Toolkit in November 2017.
FIS Council tasked Jenny with writing policies for FIS, and with the help of a small working group she produced the FIS Snow Safe Policy, which was agreed and promoted by FIS Council in 2018. The policy library has extended to include guidance for safeguarding policies and procedures at major events, as well as guidance for all 132 affiliated national ski associations.
She is co-author (with Margo Mountjoy) of a new chapter on prevention of harassment and abuse in sport in the textbook Clinical Sports Medicine (2019). Jointly with Anne Tiivas, she presented one of the webinars in the IOC’s 2019 series promoting prevention of harassment and abuse in sport.
Jenny’s professional background is as a family medical practitioner.
Mark is a Director and co-founder of the Caribbean Sport and Development Agency and is an enthusiastic and passionate Sport for Development leader dedicated to the promotion of sport and physical education as building blocks for the development of Caribbean people.
Before taking up responsibilities as Regional Coordinator of the Australian Caribbean Community Sport Development Program in 2003, Mark served as a Teacher Educator at the Physical Education Department at Corinth Teachers’ College in South Trinidad. Mark has also been a lecturer at the Sport and Physical Education Department of the University of the West Indies and played a lead role in the development of academic programs in sport, physical education and sport for development at the University of Trinidad and Tobago, the University of the West Indies and the Regional Sports Academy (Suriname).
Mark has served as a National Youth Coach, Technical Director and Sport Administrator in the sport of volleyball.
Recognised as a thought-leader in the international sport for development fraternity, Mark has served on several international, regional and national agencies over the years, including the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport (CABOS), the CARICOM Physical Education and Sport Advisory Committee and the CARICOM Task Force for Child Rights and Child Protection. Mark is presently serving on the International Safeguarding Children in Sport Advisory Board, the UNICEF /Barcelona Foundation Sport for Development for Children Working Group, the Trinidad and Tobago NCD Alliance and the First Citizens Sports Foundation.
Dr. Daniel Rhind
Daniel is a Chartered Psychologist and a Reader in Psychology at Loughborough University. Daniel’s research focuses on the realisation of human rights in, around and through sport. His research was fundamental in the development of the International Safeguards for Children in Sport. The Safeguards are now endorsed by over 400 organisations which collectively work with over 50 million children worldwide. He also managed Project CARE which involved a global census of elite athletes’ experiences regarding how their rights were realised or violated as children in sport. Daniel has an on-going collaboration with the Child Protection in Sport Unit to collate and analyse safeguarding case data. This work has evidenced the need to safeguard children against abuse by a person in a Position of Trust within sport. As a result of this work, sport has been incorporated within related legislation that is currently going through parliament. This will ensure that the age of consent for sexual activity involving an athlete aged 16 or 17 will be increased to 18 and bring sport in line with other sectors such as education, social care and healthcare.
Willma King is an experienced senior manager, learning strategist and safeguarding expert with strong skills in leadership and empowerment. She worked for NSPCC as Head of Training and Consultancy providing professional services in safeguarding and child protection and established the Learning and Development governance for Childline UK. She is a published author on learning and curriculum materials for safeguarding, child protection and inter–agency working. Willma has a Masters in social work and has delivered social care and safeguarding services across the UK, Europe and internationally including the Bahamas, Germany and Cyprus. She worked for Relationships Australia managing a wide range of statutory and community programs over considerable regional and remote areas. She is experienced in commissioning services to maintain regulatory standards alongside providing clinical and operational management. Her inter–personal skills have established strong professional reach and influential impact across her work both in Australia and Britain. Willma brings experience in liaising with government departments and service providers for co–ordination and collaborative delivery of services and has been selected to represent numerous committees and initiatives. These include Chair and non–executive Board Director on safeguarding committees; public forums; school boards; Cairns Regional Victims of Crime committee and Leicester/shire/Rutland [LLR] Multi–Agency Training Committee. Her ability to hold strategic and operational perspective has led to Willma being invited to advise the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office and other government departments and national organisations drawing on her expertise and warmth of engagement. She was also part of the Domestic Abuse consultation team leading practitioner and user informed changes to federal legislation in Australia. As a strategist and senior manager Willma has established respected business and professional development, bringing balance, wisdom and objectivity across numerous professional, charity and community settings.
Yetsa A. Tuakli-Wosornu, MD, MPH
Yetsa A. Tuakli-Wosornu, MD, MPH is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale School of Public Health, and a board-certified Physiatrist (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician). As a clinician, Dr. Tuakli serves patients with common orthopedic conditions such as osteoarthritis, non-surgically. Her goal is to use evidence-based musculoskeletal medicine and translational research to relieve pain, prevent injuries, and optimise performance for patients with or without disabilities. As a public health scientist, Dr. Tuakli founded and directs the Sports Equity Lab (SELY), an interdisciplinary research group focused on reducing inequities in sport (e.g., peer aggression, race- and gender-based discrimination, harassment, abuse, neglect) while at the same time amplifying sport’s role as a positive change agent in society. She believes the transformative power of sport and exercise on biopsychosocial outcomes in diverse settings for individuals, communities, and societies cannot be overstated. In sport, Dr. Tuakli has worked as a safeguarding scientist and advocate in various capacities with the International Paralympic Committee, the International Olympic Committee, and other organisations.
To build the evidence base for safety and inclusion in sport, SELY combines academia and translational research with community-based programs, using diverse multimedia channels for content dissemination. It is known that athletes with physical and/or intellectual disabilities, particularly those from less-resourced settings, may experience higher degrees of vulnerability to intentional harm and exploitation than their non-disabled peers. As a result, this and other ‘non-traditional’ athlete groups are centred and kept at the forefront of SELY’s work as solutions are derived for dismantling systems of oppression and privilege in sport. Importantly, these solutions are urgently needed if we want to maintain sport’s power to transform individual lives and serve humanity.
Selected citations include:
- Chair, International Society for Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM) Task Force on Physical Activity for Persons with Disabilities
- Advisor, International Olympic Committee Safeguarding Course
- Advisor, U.S. Center for SafeSport Athletes with Disabilities Course
- Member, International Olympic Committee Working Group for the Prevention of Harassment and Abuse in Sport (rep. International Paralympic Committee)
- Welfare Officer, 2016 Rio Paralympic Games
- Best Sports Medicine Physician Award, Ghana Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) 2014
- Best Medical Paper Award, North American Spine Society (NASS) 2014
- Center for Faculty Development Award, Harvard Medical School Biomedical Research Institute and Brigham & Women’s Hospital 2014
- Outstanding Intern, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital 2009
Dr. Tuakli’s clinical, scientific, and administrative work stems from her experiences as a professional track and field athlete (women’s long jump, Ghana), public health scientist, and physician, and allows these interests to dovetail into simultaneous expression.
Grace French is a dancer, marketer, strategist, and founder. Grace currently works in Ann Arbor as a marketing professional, and also as the President and Founder of The Army of Survivors. Her passion for dance lives on through her students that she coaches at a nationally recognised youth studio in Canton, Michigan. As a survivor of the now defamed Michigan State University doctor, Grace has dedicated her life to changing the culture of sport, consent, and institutional accountability to make sure that no one has to endure sexual violence or abuse. Her work in survivors’ rights and advocacy for athletes’ rights has been globally recognised, leading her to speak at the United Nations General Assembly in 2019 to urge the passage of a Worldwide Survivor Bill of Rights. Grace worked to pass three laws in Michigan which expanded the statute of limitations, and mandatory reporting. She also worked to pass the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act of 2020 which expanded athlete rights nationally. In Michigan, she serves as a member of the Title IX advisory board for U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin. Grace received the 2021 Liberty Bell award from the Ingham County Bar Association, and is one of the recipients of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2018 ESPYs, as well as a 2018 Glamour Women of the Year awardee. Grace received her BBA at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
Julie Ann Rivers-Cochran, MSW (she/her)
Julie Ann Rivers-Cochran is a national leader within the field of the prevention and intervention of gender-based violence. She is Executive Director of The Army of Survivors (TAOS), whose mission is to bring awareness, accountability, and transparency to sexual violence against athletes at all levels. Over 20 years ago, Julie Ann began her career in the movement to end gender-based violence by providing direct services and advocacy for survivors at Alternatives for Battered Women (now the Willow Center) of Rochester, NY. Prior to TAOS, Rivers-Cochran worked for the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health and as President and Founder for Blackbird Consulting for Nonprofits, a consultancy committed to helping nonprofit organisations carry out their mission while best serving their constituency. As a survivor of childhood trauma, Rivers-Cochran is a fierce advocate, whose personal experience with the impact of sexual assault and domestic violence has translated into a lifelong goal of listening to, then advocating for survivors while holding perpetrators and the systems that support them accountable.
Julie Ann holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Florida State University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College, and an Executive Certificate in Transformational Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.
The Army of Survivors (TAOS) is a non-profit organisation, based in the United States, that was formed in 2018 after a group of 40 athletes came together to advocate for and give support to athlete survivors of sexual abuse. As survivors of sexual abuse themselves, the founders stand beside other survivors to end the culture of abuse among athletes of all ages, at all levels, and from all sports. Its mission is to bring awareness, accountability, and transparency to sexual violence against athletes.
The Army of Survivors and its mission is supported by three pillars:
- Resource creation: creating resources for survivors of sexual violence
- Advocacy: advocating for culture change and legislation that gives survivors better access to justice
- Education: educating the community on prevention, intervention, and response to sexual violence in sports