10th February 2021

Gymnastics New Zealand releases report following Independent Whole of Sport Review

Gymnastics New Zealand (Gymnastics NZ) has released the report documenting the findings of the independent review which was commissioned following serious and distressing allegations of abuse within the sport. The review team of David Howman, Dr. Lesley Nicol, and Rachel Vickery received more than 200 submissions during the extended review period.

Gymnastics NZ CEO Tony Compier says the report is wide ranging and extremely thorough and will be crucial in helping the sport repair the hurt and suffering of the past, and ensuring positive change for the future. “A lot of thought, time and effort has been put into this review, and the subsequent report, and we’d like to thank David, Lesley and Rachel for their work. However, our work is only just beginning. It is clear that Gymnastics NZ has a lot to do to ensure our sport is safe, enjoyable, and rewarding for everyone.

“We’d also like to thank everyone who shared their stories and experiences. We understand this would have been a difficult and at times painful process for many and we’d like to acknowledge the courage displayed by those who came forward,” said Compier.

Gymnastics NZ has created a statement of commitment to publicly commit to implementing the recommendations made in the report, and to reinforce their living commitment to change across all levels and all aspects of the sport. Compier says the first step will be to establish a steering committee which will include survivors, athletes, sector experts and others who are integral to the gymnastics community, to oversee the implementation of the report’s recommendations. The committee is expected to be in place by the end of March.

David Howman says he and his team were impressed by everyone who contributed. “It was very clear to us that everyone involved is incredibly dedicated to their sport. We were impressed by their professional attitude and their obvious determination to ensure their stories and experiences of the past will help improve their sport in the future,” said Howman.

Sport NZ CEO Raelene Castle said the review was a critical step in acknowledging the hurt experienced by survivors and healing wounds within the sport. “The bravery of the survivors who have stepped forward, along with their stories, offers a way forward for the sport and for Gymnastics NZ. We believe the steps being taken by Gymnastics NZ in committing to the implementation of the report’s recommendations and the creation of a steering committee comprising survivors, athletes and others from the community will prompt a positive change to the culture of gymnastics. Sport NZ has supported the process to date and will continue to support Gymnastics NZ with the implementation of these recommendations as a member of their steering committee.”

Though the independent review is complete, and the report published, Gymnastics NZ understands there may still be others who wish to come forward to share their experiences. We would encourage them to do so via the Gymnastics NZ Safe Sport email and the Independent Complaints Mechanism.

Accompanying documents:

The full report: Independent Review of Gymnastics New Zealand
Gymnastics NZ’s Statement of Commitment

• This media release was published by Gymnastics New Zealand on 10 February 2021. Click here for the original.

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