Hockey Australia's new Safe Hockey Hub initiative has drawn praise from Southern Highlands Hockey.
The Safe Hockey Hub was described in a statement from HA as a "comprehensive framework for safeguarding young athletes", with the overarching goal of stamping out abuse in the game.
Over the last 18 months, HA collaborated with safeguarding expert Samantha Dellamarta - a member of the Sports Integrity and Governance Partners (SIGPA) team - to produce "policies, resources, and education targeting all levels of hockey across Australia".
The Safe Hockey Hub includes policies and procedures (which are divided into chapters such as Safe Leadership, Safe People, and Safe Environments), and community guidelines which are available through the Hockey Australia website.
On the web page, which can be found here, visitors can raise a concern, access any of the five aforementioned chapters, find supporting documents, and access guidelines for young athletes, adult athletes, families, officials, coaches and managers, and clubs and associations.
"As a sport we are committed to making the safety and wellbeing of our participants our top priority," HA acting CEO, Michael Johnston, said.
"Hockey Australia and our Member Associations have started our Safe Hockey journey, and we are excited to be supporting our clubs and associations in providing the safest environments for children and young people.
"In the coming months we will continue to provide education, build on the resources in the Hub, respond to feedback from our stakeholders and commence the implementation across the hockey community.
"There is still a long road ahead of us to make meaningful change. This work takes time and investment but we are committed to doing what is required for safer hockey and safer kids."
Southern Highlands Hockey committee member, Dan Parker, expressed his support for the initiative from HA, and said sport should be a safe pursuit for all.
"Hockey, or any sport, shouldn't be unsafe within your outlet of everyday life," he said.
"It should be fun, it should be inclusive, you should be there to enjoy yourself and not worry about that sort of stuff."
While Southern Highlands Hockey already has stringent guidelines in place to address the issues outlined by HA, Parker said the Safe Hockey Hub was a welcome reminder to all local hockey organisations to assess their policies.
"To be honest, I think a lot of it's already in place anyway," he said.
"We've always had [safety resources] in our policies and procedures, online at our website. But what it has done is highlighted the importance of it, because policies and procedures age and become outdated.
"For us, it underlines the importance of it and makes everyone go back over their own policies and procedures to make sure it's up to standard."
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