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July 29

Sport4Ontario, partner to Keep Sports Safe!

Toronto: Promoting a safe and secure environment for every child and youth participating in sport is a top priority for Sport4Ontario, the Coaches Association of Ontario and their members. Prompted by the introduction of Bill 30, (Protection of Minors in Amateur Sports Act, 2007), Sport4Ontario and the Coaches Association of Ontario recognized a need to streamline and improve the screening process for coaches, officials, volunteers and staff. Working with BackCheck, the largest Canadian company dedicated to background screening, has resulted in a solution that recognizes the unique structure of the sport sector.

“” is a secure web-based platform that allows organizations and coaches to manage the process of criminal record checking using the same databases the RCMP use. With the click of a mouse, reliable results can be obtained in just 24 hours.

“ will dramatically reduce the waiting period associated with screening volunteers,” says Brandy Tanenbaum, Executive Director, Sport4Ontario. “The reality is that many organizations need a more effective screening program, and while criminal record checks are only one component of the screening process, it is our hope that this program will help organizations take a more proactive approach in screening volunteers.”

“In many cases, coaches are asked to make a trip to their community police station each season to get a copy of their criminal record check,” says Susan Kitchen, Executive Director, Coaches Association of Ontario. “By providing an online option, coaches can obtain results quickly and share it with their league organizer, the municipality or school where they coach. is one way an administrative task can take just minutes, resulting in coaches having more time to focus their time and energy on coaching.”

“BackCheck is proud to support Sport4Ontario, the Coaches Association of Ontario and their members,” says Dave Dinesen, President and CEO, “ is a product of years of listening to sports and service organizations talk about their needs with respect to managing criminal record checks and minimizing the burden of time and cost placed on their highly valued volunteers, staff, and coaches.”

Through, organizations can send email invitations to volunteers to initiate the screening process. Individuals complete the process from their own computer at their convenience. The system searches the same secure CPIC database that police stations use and return results in one day. Volunteers receive a copy of their results in a secure account and can share the information with one or more organizations. Clubs, leagues and sport administrators will have the tools to more efficiently manage this step of Volunteer Canada’s screening process.

High profile cases in the media spark a greater interest in programs that provide protection for minors participating in amateur sports. Provincial legislation which requires sport organizations to have a mandatory screening program in place is a real possibility. Two Private Member Bills (Bill 30 and Bill 170) that set out mandatory requirements and frequency for criminal record checks for volunteers, coaches and officials working with minors in sports are currently tabled with the Ontario Legislature.

Margaret Emin, Chair, Sport4Ontario, believes sport programs in Ontario aim to provide a safe environment for participation. However, to accomplish this, sport organizations need to develop provincially recognized and credible screening practices, similar to those established in other agencies that serve the vulnerable sector: children and youth, persons with disabilities and seniors.

Sport4Ontario, incorporated in 1998 as The Provincial Sport Organizations Council, is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization that provides the collaborative environment, knowledge and resources to build capacity and drive leadership excellence in the Ontario sport community through education, advocacy, interaction, research and innovation.

The Coaches Association of Ontario is a coach-led, non-profit organization that provides education, resources, recognition and strengthens development opportunities for coaches through community collaboration and partnership.

BackCheck is Canada’s largest Human Resources firm dedicated to providing pre-employment background screening. BackCheck serves thousands of organizations of all sizes, including half of Canada’s largest employers.


Media Contacts:

Brandy Tanenbaum


(416) 426-7310

Jessica Taggio

Coaches Association of Ontario

(416) 426-7053

Stephen Dinesen