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Expectations for Fairness in Sport

Issued: August 10, 2001
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A Declaration, enacted by the Federal-Provincial/Territorial Sport Ministers


Whereas sport enriches the lives of Canadians in a multitude of ways: in their roles as participants, spectators, coaches and volunteers;

And Whereas, sport offers opportunities for the personal, moral and value-centred development of children and young people;

And Whereas, ethically-based and safe sport promote an active lifestyle, self-esteem, healthy bodies, lifelong learning and strong team spirit;

And Whereas, sport is an arena for the development and realization of human excellence;

And Whereas, sport helps to build a civil society by forging healthy and co-operative communities;

Now Therefore, the Canadian Ministers of Sport, meeting at their 2001 Conference, August 10, 2001 in London, Ontario, in conjunction with the 18th Canada Summer Games, agree to place new emphasis on reinforcing the ethical foundation of sport in Canada by recognizing the following fundamental ethical principles as applicable to Canadian sport:

Sport is history...

Sport in Canada is a vital part of history, reflecting a proud tradition of athletic achievements;

Sport is experience...

Sport is encountered in a variety of ways, as athletes, coaches, officials, parents and supporters, volunteers, leaders, scientists, medical personnel, sponsors, artists, media, fans and sponsors and as spectators. Encounters in and through sport enrich their life and the wide variety of sporting traditions flavour the experience of Canadians.

Sport is for fun...

At the very heart of sport is a commitment to fun. Sport can bring joy, it can make the spirit soar and it can enrich lives. Governments are dedicated to providing the opportunity for all Canadians, whatever their location, their sex or gender or their level of ability or interest to experience the joy of sport and to share in its bounty.

Sport is for character...

But sport is also more than just fun. Sport tests and builds character; sport allows the opportunity for children and young people to build the values of teamwork, dedication and commitment. Sport requires honesty and fair play. Sport builds courage, testing the willingness to try, to fail, and to try again. Governments are pledged to creating a sport environment untainted by cheating, violence and other unethical practices. Their goal is a sport environment that allows children and young people to develop as athletes, as people and as citizens and to pursue their commitment throughout their life.

Sport is for health...

Sports are physical and mental games. Sports build healthy bodies as well as good character. Frequent, high quality physical activity through sport leaves a legacy of health that can last a lifetime. Governments are committed to ensuring safe conditions for the practice of sport and to promoting physical and mental health through sport.

Sport is for excellence...

Sport is one of the areas of human activity that allows the quest for excellence. Great sport performances enrich and expand our humanity, pushing beyond the every day, to open new horizons and new ways of experiencing the human condition. But truly excellent sport must be fair sport, to be celebrated and supported.

Sport is for community...

Sport builds communities. In every corner of this country young people, their parents and coaches, volunteers, sponsors and supporters are brought together by sport. Sport builds communities as people come together for sport on the fields, on the diamonds, inside the arenas, to leave as more than neighbours, but also as friends. Governments are committed to enriching our neighbourhoods, and developing civil society through sport.

In Furtherance of these principles, the Ministers agree to advance them through the engagement of all stakeholders in sport in a concerted and coordinated series of actions.

And Further, the Ministers acknowledge that it is important to reflect these principles in the behaviour of all the participants in sport in accordance with some common, shared norms of conduct. To achieve this goal, the Ministers agree to issue this Declaration, which articulates a set of expectations for fairness in sport, and to urge all stakeholders in sport to take all necessary steps to ensure that these expectations are satisfied.

And Further, the Ministers agree to make this Declaration widely known and to direct their officials to design, in consultation with the sport community, the Terms of Reference for a process that will lead to the development and implementation of a Canadian Strategy on Ethical Conduct in Sport.

Enacted in London, Ontario, August 10, 2001 at the Conference of the Federal- Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Sport, Fitness and Recreation.