At last a lot of media traffic has been dedicated to this vital topic, the question of child safety in Australian gymnastics. For those of us who have been tracking the sport for decades, the review has been a long time coming. In some ways it feels like the end of a long journey, but in fact it’s really only just the beginning. An enormous amount of work lies ahead for the peak governance body, Gymnastics Australia, as they respond and move proactively towards cultural change. The report outlines twelve measures for reform. Twelve is a deceptive number: contained within each recommendation are the Babushka dolls of a thousand other micro-measures for reform.
The underlying challenges revolve around the ability to galvanise a large community to act, to disseminate knowledge in a streamlined way, to break complex issues down to their simpler forms, and to monitor and audit progress.
Nothing about this is easy.
If Gymnastics Australia is genuine about reform, then we, as a community, will need to get behind them and assist in their campaigns.
Regarding today’s news (5/5/2021) I am grateful for Greg Baum’s promotion of my opinion piece on what needs to happen next, which can be found here. In short, the review and my opinion piece, carry forward the same calls for action, although I argue more stridently for transparency and also for specifically-formulated apologies to athletes. Redress is also an important aspect of this.
And now it’s time for a change of scenery. I asked my dog what he made of the Change the Routine review, and Eddie answered in this way.
“Yep, this report has teeth.”