I used to be an active athlete. I started doing this sport (will not specify which) at the age of 7. The head coach was a foreigner and an active sexual abuser. Whenever he needed to train us he would touch me and my teammates at our private parts, make sexual jokes and worst of all no matter how many times we reported to the higher ups, he’ll always get away with it because they defended and protected him.
At first, I thought it was normal and part of the training process. But as I grew older I realised how wrong it actually was. I started to feel uncomfortable, of the atmosphere and myself. I tried to cover up as much as possible and distant myself from my coach. I started performing terribly in trainings and competitions. I wasn’t myself. A sport i used to love now turned into one of my worst nightmares.
I used to be scared of going to training. Whenever i perform badly, i end up getting physical abused, getting hit and thrown out of training. When I was 13, a senior of mine was sexually assaulted and she made a police report.
A few teammates and I we’re called to the police station and they questioned us. I remember so clearly the police asked me ;
‘Is this true?’.
I said no. I knew it happened. I saw it with my own eyes. But I was scared. I was frightened. Everyone around me told me to say no. I was only 13. Not knowing what was right and what was wrong.
All I thought on that day was that if i were to say yes my coach would do something terrible to me. Until this day i am still scarred and guilty about it. I did that sport for 11 years and in those 11 years, there was not a day where I wasn’t sexually assaulted.
I’ve seen of my dear friends who are potential athletes quit because of this. My only wish is for sports associations to do better.
Please keep a lookout for your athletes because we are not robots and believe us when we tell you things like this because sexual assaults is never a joke especially at a young age. #stopdefendingsexualabusers - Gwen