NOC Sri Lanka launches ‘Harassment is No Game’ campaign

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –In a proactive bid to eradicate harassment at all levels of the sportsarena in the country, the Women’s Committee of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka(NOC Sri Lanka) officially launched its ‘Harassment is No Game’ campaign on 13th October2020 via a Facebook Live Event on its official Facebook page. The Committee announced itscomprehensive campaign is to prevent harassment at the launch event.

The campaign organizers are looking to address all forms of harassment including mental,physical, verbal and sexual abuse to bullying that takes place in the sports community in thecountry. Harassment could manifest in the form of actions calculated to trigger stress and trauma,demeaning language and behavior, bodily harm, inappropriate of sharp language, inappropriatetouch, and comments and unsolicited sexual expressions.

“Our fundamental aim is to eradicate harassment in sports among the athletes across the nationand create a safe space in which athletes can perfect their craft. The first phase of this campaignwill focus on educating all entities involved, including the public. Afterwards, we plan to set up asystem that enables whistle-blowers to communicate with a designated unit. We are confidentthat this will trigger a feasible and effective process into establish the authenticity of complaints,understand the facts and work on resolving the issues promptly,” commented Women’sCommittee Chairperson of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka, Niloo Jayatilake.

The Committee has set up a special team to investigate reports of harassment and pursueappropriate action immediately. Just over a year after having established the country’s first-everSexual Harassment and Abuse Prevention Policy for sports, this campaign will be the first step ineradicating harassment and protecting sportsmen and women. Harassment is No Game campaign wishes to reach out to every corner of the island and educate the public and involved parties toobserve, learn and inform the special unit to end all forms of abuse and maltreatment of athletes.

“All forms of harassment undermine human dignity and trigger devastating effects on a person’sself-worth, mental and physical wellbeing. Sports should promote a life-enhancing culture whereeveryone involved enjoys the right to become happy and fulfilled individuals. Unfortunately,harassment in the sports world is more prevalent than most people imagine. Hence, we’vedecided to nurture a culture that understands, accepts and takes action to help each and everysportsman and woman,” commented Harassment is No Game Campaign Ambassador,Susanthika Jayasinghe OLY.

The international sports arena is already bringing in education and policies to address sexualharassment and abuse. Therefore, Sri Lanka too is taking the necessary and progressive steps inheading in the right direction in creating awareness. NOC Sri Lanka under the purview of itsPresident Suresh Subramaniam has begun to advocate for change within the sports industry. Tomake it a success, all sports federations that come under the NOC Sri Lanka which is the apexbody, will take an active role in creating awareness among the sporting fraternity through thiscampaign, to advocate for clean sports in the country.

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