Katie Simmonds and Ju'Riese Colon

Youth development and protection is the fourth pillar of SIGA’s reform agenda to enhance and promote greater Sport Integrity worldwide.

With increasing reports of physical and mental abuse of athletes in sports globally, including in North America, SIGA held a roundtable in New York last week to address the current crisis.  In connection with SIGA AMERICA, the Universal Standards on Youth Development and Protection in Sport were presented to senior representatives of organisations such as the United Nations (DESA), Major League Soccer, US Center for Safesport, Women X, and Yale University, Jackson School of Global Affairs, amongst others. The roundtable addressed the critical challenges that lies ahead for US Sport specifically and how SIGA can support sports organisations in the US in a positive and proactive way to mitigate the risk of these incidents from happening in the future.

Following the launch in Portugal during Sport Integrity Week 2022, the standards are now available for download and implementation.


The new universal standards were developed by a task force of global experts, in an effort coordinated by SIGA AMERICA. Billed as the silver bullet to drive reform in key areas such as Good Governance, Financial Integrity, Sports Betting Integrity and Youth Development and Protection in Sport, the SIGA universal standards are more than a guide to best practice.

SIGA invites all sport organisations to take a leading role in building clean and safe sport, by promoting the adoption of the Universal Standards and becoming active ambassadors of Sport Integrity.

It is time to move from words to actions, and SIGA reinforces the invitation to all organisations to further than adopting the standards, going through to the SIGA Independent Rating and Verification System (SIRVS) – more information here. As a first step, SIGA is offering to conduct an internal gap analysis of sports organisations, including leagues, to provide an xray of where they are currently in relation to the SIGA Universal Standards on Youth Development and Protection. SIGA will then collaboratively work with sports organisations to  create a 12 month action plan on get them on a pathway of enhanced governance, ready for SIRVS.

Ju’Riese Colon, CEO of the US Center for SafesSport who played an instrumental role in the development of the Standards endorsed such an approach and encouraged sports leagues in the US to get ahead of the problem.

The Universal Standards on Youth Development and Protection are something that the world has been waiting for. Some good work is happening in different areas, but many end up in silos. SIGA Universal Standards are usable, and tangible and will impact culture change across the entire world. These standards will become the baseline for organisations and countries to start to strive towards. They meet people where they are: if you’re just getting started or if you are midway there or you’re already striving for gold, there’s a place for you and there’s actions for you to take embedded in these standards that will impact the athletes that you are working with each and everyday.”

If you are interested in your organisation going through an internal gap analysis, please contact katie.simmonds@siga-sport.com.



SIGA is the world´s leading organisation for Sports Integrity. Supported by more than 200 international multi-industry supporters, we are creating a whole new landscape for the global sports industry by promoting the implementation of the highest integrity standards and delivering independent global rating and certification for Sport.

Funded by its members, SIGA is the only organisation to bring together all key stakeholder groups – Sport, Government, International Organisations, Global Business and Civil Society – from every region in the world, around one critical, fundamental Cause: to foster greater Integrity throughout Sport.

SIGA is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, as a non for profit association, funded by its members, and comprises of the following continental subsidiaries: SIGA AMERICA, SIGA EUROPE and SIGA LATIN AMERICA.

Click on the hyperlinks for the list of SIGA Members and Committed Supporters and SIGA Partners.

For more information on SIGA, including its vision, mission and reform agenda, please refer to the website: www.siga-sport.com.

To contact SIGA, please email: comms@siga-sport.com.

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