Former WAIS gymnasts receive state government apology over abuse and ‘unacceptable conduct’

The WA government has apologised to gymnasts who suffered alleged abuse and mistreatment while participating in the Western Australian Institute of Sport’s women’s artistic gymnastics program over a period of 28 years.

Sport and Recreation Minister David Templeman has also directed his department to undertake a “comprehensive governance and culture review of WAIS” and establish a Specialist Child Safeguarding Unit to ensure the protection of children in all levels of sport.

The new unit was lauded as “a leading step in the protection of young athletes in Western Australia” by the Gymnast Alliance Australia (GAA), which represents many of the former child gymnasts who suffered when they trained in what should have been a safe environment .

A group of girls in leotards posing with gym apparatus.
WAIS’s elite gymnastics program in 1996 included former Olympian Jen Smith (top), who contributed to a review into alleged abuse.supplied

The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries will also step in to ensure WAIS carries out a proper restorative and reconciliation process.

Posted updated

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.