RealResponse and USA Fencing are now working together through a new anonymous texting hotline, 320-ENGARDE, set up as a reporting solution to report suspected abuses, potential violations and other serious matters, or general inquires, pertaining to the policies laid out by the national governing body (NGB) located in Colorado Springs. Olympic and Paralympic USA Fencing athletes, coaches and staff, as well as parents and complete strangers, now have the ability to submit reports, either anonymously or on the record, by sending a text message to the following number, 320-ENGARDE (320-364-2733). The Sports Techie community blog understands the value of feeling safe when reporting an unlawful or harmful experience, witnessing some type of illegal or unjust activity, or simply doing your U.S. citizen due diligence about something concerning or unusual, and knowing your privacy, if wanted, is secure thanks to the Charlotte, N.C. based technology company. The sport of fencing in America and its constituency joins USA Track and Field, USA Swimming, and USA Gymnastics NGBs as RealResponse partners.
David Chadwick, founder and CEO of RealResponse, says his team is “proud to add USA Fencing to the growing number of national governing bodies that RealResponse partners with.”
The Text Process
“At USA Fencing, we believe that reporting a concern should be as simple as picking up your smartphone,” said USA Fencing CEO Phil Andrews.
Fencers, coaching staffs and the public-at-large are encouraged to text to 320-ENGARDE (320-364-2733), whenever called for, 24/7/365. The concept for the texting hotline is to encourage a fencer and supporters to remain “en garde” both on and off the strip as a means of rallying together when abuse and other concerning issues reveal themselves to the individual or American community at-large, both domestically and when traveling abroad.
After a text message is sent to 320-ENGARDE, the contents are confidentially and securely stored in RealResponse’s online platform that allows for real-time reporting, in addition to conducting surveys and acting as a document repository.
A texters anonymity is preserved because none of the reporter’s contact information, including their phone number, can be viewed by USA Fencing.
After each message is received, a vetted and designated USA Fencing representative can respond via text message if needed, to gather additional information — all while allowing the submitter to remain anonymous (if they chose) throughout the process.
The underlying goal behind 320-ENGARDE, says Andrews, is to streamline the reporting process by offering an additional tool to members.
Andrews added, “Our partnership with RealResponse and the debut of 320-ENGARDE gives members a vital resource that’s easy to use, easy to remember and anonymous.”
Chadwick said, “The proactive work that Phil and his team have undertaken to ensure the health and well-being of all in the organization is commendable,” he says, “and we look forward to helping them in this very worthwhile and much-needed element of their business.”
No question 320-ENGARDE is a powerful tool and technologically sound, yet it does not replace other reporting options offered through FenceSafe, USA Fencing’s suite of safety resources. Other reporting options remain available, allowing members to share concerns through an online form, email or phone call.
Additional information about RealResponse can be found at their web site: realresponse.com.
Sports Techie, besides NGBs in the US, RealResponse has partnered with more than 100 colleges and universities, MLB, the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL, the NFLPA, USADA and the NWSL. Upwards of 150,000 athletes and staff nationwide are safe knowing they have the ability to anonymously share feedback and concerns in a safe and secure manner.
Organizations are also able to benchmark metrics to peer and national averages to identify areas of competitive advantage and vulnerability.
This budding RealResponse partnership with USA Fencing also helps meet the latter’s mission to grow and promote the sport of fencing in the United States, honor its rich traditions, and achieve sustained competitive international excellence.
Across USA Fencing, their athletes are strong and competitive both on the fencing strip and in life — a reminder that fencing provides physical and mental benefits that last a lifetime.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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