Safe Sports

Within Voorwaarts, we adhere to national guidelines: Codes of Conduct – Center for Safe Sports Netherlands.

Safe Sports at Voorwaarts

It’s essential that you enjoy sports with a positive feeling, feel welcome at Voorwaarts, and have a good and trusted connection with your coach and fellow group members.

If you still enjoy the sport itself but find it unpleasant to attend lessons, it’s crucial to identify the reasons behind it. Various reasons could be at play, but if they are related to the group or the coach, it’s time to have a conversation with your coach. Talking is the first step toward a solution.

If you find it challenging to talk to your coach, you can contact one of the confidants at Voorwaarts. They will listen to you, provide support, and, if you prefer, can join you in a conversation with your coach.

Unwanted Behavior

Voorwaarts wants everyone to enjoy sports and find lessons pleasant. It’s normal to occasionally have a lesson you don’t like, but most of the time, the lessons should be enjoyable and meaningful. The reason for not enjoying lessons should not be the coach or fellow group members. For example, feeling excluded, believing that you’re often the target of jokes, or that people are laughing at you. This is unpleasant and unwanted.

Initiating a conversation with your coach is the first step you can take. If the situation doesn’t improve, contact one of the confidants.

Unwanted Physical Contact

Physical contact occurs in a gymnastics club. Naturally, it should be functional: coaches may hold you to prevent falls or as part of a game or exercise. However, if you feel that you are being touched in a way that does not serve a purpose and it makes you uncomfortable, then it qualifies as unwanted physical contact. This is never acceptable!

Inform your coach about it, and if the issue persists, contact one of the confidants.

What Can You Expect from a Confidant?

The primary role of a confidant is to listen to you. You will have the time and space to tell your story. You can share everything and express your emotions. The conversation is open, honest, and confidential. After you’ve shared your story, it’s up to you to decide what you’d like to do next. Sometimes, simply telling your story is enough. But if you believe that further steps are necessary to address the problem, you can work with the confidant to explore your options. You have the freedom to discuss everything. Ultimately, you decide what suits you and the situation. You can then take those steps alone or with the confidant’s assistance.

VOG (Certificate of Conduct)

Voorwaarts requires its staff to have a Certificate of Conduct (VOG). What is it?

VOG stands for “Verklaring Omtrent het Gedrag,” which translates to “Certificate of Conduct” in English. It is a statement from the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice indicating that a person’s past behavior does not present an obstacle to the desired purpose. The desired purpose can essentially be any volunteer role within Voorwaarts. For individuals above the age of 18 who are part of the Voorwaarts staff, a VOG certificate has been provided, indicating that, according to the judicial system, there are no objections to their active participation in the club. This measure aims to minimize the risk of unwanted behavior within the club.

As a sports club, Voorwaarts has a responsibility to implement measures that prevent unwanted behavior. Requiring a VOG provides more certainty about the past behavior of volunteers. Additionally, it reduces the chances of individuals who have previously committed offenses against children from holding positions within Voorwaarts.

What Happens to Your Information?

Naturally, everything you share remains confidential with the confidant. It will not be discussed with anyone unless it concerns sexual assault or rape. In such cases, the confidant is obliged to report it to the board.

Would you like to know more about our confidential advisors and how to reach them?

To learn more about our confidants and how to reach them, click here for more information.