Canada Sevens players release statement

The national women’s sevens team who made their formal complaint against a coaching staff last January says they were let down by Canada Rugby’s harassments and bullying policy.
After the news broke out, we saw a switch in coaching staff immediately, and just last Monday, John Tait formally resigned from his position as head coach.

Coach John Tait stepped down from his position last Monday in the wake of the independent investigation , the complaints were said to have reflected the experiences of the athlete and it did not fall within the policy’s definition of harassment and bullying.

37 past and present members of the national team have come up to file the complaint in January.

In a statement released  by captain Ghislaine Landry, she says “explained the psychological abuse, harassment and/or bullying these athletes feel they were subjected to in the centralized training environment.”

“The national team athletes have shown true courage in coming forward to shine a light on what they have experienced in an effort to bring about meaningful change to their sport,” the statement said.

“We followed the procedures outlined in Rugby Canada’s policy, which was put in place in 2013. We feel that this process failed to protect us and did not acknowledge the abuse and harassment that we believe we suffered.”

The statement was signed by 37 women, of whom three preferred to remain anonymous , the 37 ladies is said to represent 55% of the athletes who have bene involved in the centralized training program in Langford, British Columbia.

Nineteen of the 21 women who put their names down on the statement, are listed by Canada Rugby as members of the current squad .

In March, Rugby Canada approved “updated safe sport policy manual.” And CEO Allen Vansen said they will make an independent assessment of the current women’s sevens  “to help us understand the journey and experiences of our athletes and staff involved with our national teams.”

“The goal of the assessment will be to deliver recommendations to improve our training and competition environment,” Vansen added.

Rugby made its statement:

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“I was not surprised that the investigation, which I had requested to be initiated, concluded that the complaints were all unfounded and did not breach any of (Rugby Canada) policies,” he said. “Regardless, I no longer desire to continue as the national team head coach or in the role of high-performance director & have therefore decided to resign.”