SafeShred Update: Empowering young riders to face unethical issues in Snowboarding

The different partners involved in SafeShred, an initiative co-financed by the Erasmus+ Sport program of the European Commission, started their cooperation at the beginning of 2021. Since then, they have already done considerable work on the project.

SafeShred aims at designing and implementing an educational program to raise awareness among the grassroots riders on issues related to ethics in snowboarding. The first step in the process is to collect the key information and practices about several topics such as manipulation of sport competition, doping, harassment, corruption, etc. This preparation phase, also called “Comprehensive Research” should help in building a strong program adapted to the young riders.

In the last two months, the University Ramon Llull Fondacio based in Spain, has led a research on the legislation and policies of the partner countries, and more broadly in Europe. In the meantime, several experts from the project partner Foundation for Sport Integrity (Stitching CSCF) have interviewed expert riders, coaches, managers, ethic and law experts, supporting personnel and other stakeholders coming from the field of snowboarding. These fact-finding missions were conducted in six countries: Austria, Finland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland. The contribution of the WSF members (list below) has been extremely valuable in understanding how people view the existing policies related to these ethical topics and how the practices observed on the field reflect (or not) the legal documents. The last ongoing step in the preparation phase is a survey constructed and conducted by the University Ramon Llull Fondacio among the athletes to learn about their perspective, prior knowledge, trust, fears, and exposure.

The curriculum will be created by the experts of the Foundation for Sport Integrity (Stitching CSCF) and adapted in two formats: a Riders’ Guide and an E-learning Program. The WSF already looks ahead to the delivery of the education program to the young riders by gathering good practices and experiences across the partner countries. Throughout the winter 2021-22, training for riders will be organized across Europe and beyond, to test the curriculum and review the final project deliverables.

Special thanks to the members of the WSF involved in SafeShred: Austrian Snowboard Association, Finnish Snowboard Association, Snowboard Germany, Snowboard Italy, Swedish Ski Association, Swiss Ski.

Author: Tricia