Drum Corps International (DCI), the leader in producing events for the world’s most elite and exclusive marching ensembles for student musicians and performers, announces today a new initiative with the U.S. Center for SafeSport to provide educational resources and comprehensive training that will support a positive and safe environment. It’s part of DCI’s ongoing commitment to providing protection and resources for all DCI participating organizations and the performing arts athletes taking part in the summer tour.
The new SafeSport requirement will establish that anyone over the age of 18, who participates in DCI events and has direct access to performers, completes the SafeSport® Trained Core course. This includes all performers, corps staff, DCI employees, judges, event staff, directors, and volunteers.
The SafeSport online training will deliver facts, principles, strategies, and actions to promote a safe and positive environment for Drum Corps International performers. Each training group will receive advance instructions from SafeSport and is required to complete the training before the DCI season starts, June 24, 2022. While the participating organizations’ portals primarily, along with DCI’s portal secondarily, remain the channels for reporting ethics and compliance concerns, the education surrounding athlete safety will become tools to aid participating organizations when resolving matters pursuant to DCI’s whistleblower policy.
“Standards and expectations in athletics and the performing arts are changing, and we must protect our performers at all costs,” said Dan Acheson, CEO of DCI. “This new requirement is our commitment to our participants that our highest priority is their overall health and welfare. We are working to increase our footprint of commitment and encouraging older age groups to not only advocate for themselves but empower them for advocacy.”
Mandatory SafeSport training is the latest tool Drum Corps International has added in the organization’s continued focus on participant health, wellness and safety. Additional programs and initiatives in recent years have included the adoption of the DCI Community Code of Conduct and Ethics Guidelines, the establishment of mandatory whistleblower and reporting requirements through Drum Corps International and all of its participating organizations, mandatory national criminal history background checks of those in direct contact with performers, and the requirement of healthcare professionals to travel with performing groups throughout the duration of their summer tours.
Additionally, DCI has expanded its Marching Arts Safety & Health (MASH) committee to engage a larger number of health and wellness professionals and consultants to share best practices across a number of disciplines including mental health.
DCI has also hired Participant Safety Manager, Emily Zorn, who will have oversight of prevention and compliance efforts.
“DCI has never had a Participant Safety Manager, let alone someone with vast sports safety experience,” Acheson said. “Emily’s wealth of knowledge, along with a degree in athletics training and health and wellness, will greatly benefit and impact our organization. We are privileged to welcome Emily to the DCI team.”
“I am looking forward to applying my experience to help DCI achieve its goal of implementing new safety measures and standards to promote greater awareness and clarity of DCI’s commitment to its performing arts athletes and participants,” Zorn said. “Training and education is a must for all athletic organizations, and I am excited to be a part of such a monumental shift for DCI.”