Available in the U.S. and Canada, the confidential toll-free resource is specifically designed for athletes, their families, coaches, and administrators who have concerns about abuse in sports.
LOS ANGELES – OCTOBER 26, 2022
During their 2022 Humanitarian Award event on October 14th, The Foundation for Global Sports Development (GSD) announced the launch of the Courage First Athlete Helpline, a free service for anyone who needs assistance with sports-related abuse questions.
Developed in partnership with Childhelp — whose 40-year-old National Child Abuse Hotline is a model for hotlines around the world — the Courage First Athlete Helpline is staffed by counselors specially trained to address the unique needs and vulnerabilities of athletes. Anyone may call the helpline at 1-888-279-1026, Monday through Friday, from 12:00PM – 8:00PM PT. Text and online chat options are also available, and all contacts are confidential. After hours, calls rollover to Childhelp’s 24/7 National Child Abuse Hotline.
Both organizations share a mission of protecting children from abuse and have collaborated on initiatives aimed at abuse prevention in youth athletics for the last 25 years. Their hope is that this latest venture will become a resource for anyone involved in sports who is experiencing a situation that causes concern.
“Athletes face distinct challenges that make them particularly susceptible to abuse. The fear of losing a scholarship, their spot on the team, or being ostracized by teammates can silence a player,” said Dr. Steven Ungerleider, Sport Psychologist and GSD Executive Board Member. “The Courage First Athlete Helpline is meant to be a safe space where anyone with doubts can check in and feel supported.”
“Our foundation’s work in the sexual abuse prevention space has given us a greater understanding of the long-lasting impact of sexual abuse and why prevention is key,” said David Ulich, GSD Executive Board Member. “The idea of the athlete helpline has been in the works for a while. It’s extremely rewarding to see it come to fruition.”
Working with academics, physicians, and social workers as advisors, the initiative went from idea to reality spurred by the experts’ opinions that the need was great.
Childhelp Co-Founder & CEO, Sara O’Meara, said, “This pioneering program, the first of its kind, will be a safe space for a child in Little League to seek help, young adults in high school sports to ask questions, parents to receive resources, coaches to learn abuse prevention strategies, and survivors to speak with a compassionate, degreed counselor free of charge who can help them talk through past issues and receive the support they need as they continue a journey of recovery.”
“This service will literally help heal hearts and save lives,” Childhelp Co-Founder & President Yvonne Fedderson added.
The spokesperson for the program, Childhelp Celebrity Ambassador John Stamos, has a message for anyone seeking help, “Your voice is your courage.”