The core purpose of an organization is its fundamental reason for being. The purpose is enduring; it is the guiding star on the horizon forever pursued, but never reached. While the purpose is never fully realized, it inspires the organization to change and progress in order to more fully live up to its purpose.
Core values describe the values which members actually hold, not what some group feels members should believe. Core values are constant, regardless of how the environment changes. Core values are what SSC, in its essence, stands for; they are not operating practices or program strategies.
The practice of sport builds character and shapes attitudes. It is an arena of personal growth. Through developing and practicing skills, setting goals and preparing for and competing in contests, skaters learn the benefits of dedication, perseverance, stress management, self-reliance and discipline which are applicable in other aspects of their lives. By working with others in pursuit of common objectives, athletes develop the ability to work in teams, share responsibility and develop communication skills. All of these enable individuals to participate fully in their communities and the larger society.
The pursuit of personal goals in sport requires athletes to make choices through which they discover their personal values. By acting consistently with these values, skaters develop self-confidence. Strength of character results from this process of moral self-definition.
Through competition, athletes experience winning, losing, failure, success and achievement. They experience the emotions associated with the outcomes of competition: joy, disappointment, satisfaction. Personal growth results from learning how to put these events and emotions in perspective.
HOW THIS VALUE MIGHT BE REFLECTED IN SSC?
The teaching, coaching and officiating of speed skating and organizing and staging competitions provide unlimited opportunities to reinforce the inherent values of sport. This value is the foundation of all programs and practices of coaches, officials, organizers and administrators. The members of the Association realize that, in developing effective teams, sharing responsibility for results, goal-setting and measuring performance, they are also teaching life skills and undertake these activities in full knowledge of the implications of these activities. Members cannot say it is just speed skating or it is just sport if they understand the full power of the sport experience.
Speed skating provides an opportunity for all members to participate, pursue personal development and compete, officiate, coach or administer without limitations created by bias, prejudice, or inequity of ability, gender, region or culture. The programs, practices and decisions of the Association do not compromise the dignity or self-respect of any individual member.
HOW THIS VALUE MIGHT BE REFLECTED IN SSC:
The Association does not tolerate the consequences of inequity, bias or prejudice. Nor would any abuse of power, position or privilege be acceptable. The Association promotes respect for competitors, officials, property, and rules. Respect for others may also includes such practices as meeting deadlines, observing starting times and broadly distributing information out of respect for others= time, commitments and need for information. Respect for others requires volunteers, staff and skaters to seek an understanding of others' perspectives and ideas.
Integrity is defined as honesty, incorruptibility and doing what is right, not just what works. Integrity requires an environment of fair play where rules are known and respected by all, and where cheating and circumventing due process are not accepted and results in sanctions. Integrity is not just applicable in competition, it is also an integral element in decision-making, communication, evaluation, contracting, recognition and awards. The willingness to be accountable for the results of our actions flows from the value of integrity. It obligates administrators, athletes, coaches and officials to ensure they have sufficient information and data with which to make decisions or judge others, and obligates athletes, coaches, officials and administrators to become knowledgeable about their roles and increase their expertise. Integrity asks individuals to carry out their responsibilities and to represent the Association consistent with the interests of the members. The respect, trust and credibility we earn is the true measure of integrity.
HOW THIS VALUE MIGHT BE REFLECTED IN SSC
The value of integrity leads to conflict of interest policies, codes of ethics and an accountability framework. Integrity provides a natural pre-condition for due process and appeals. Where contracts are used, both partners enter in the agreement freely, understand their obligations and are not be compelled to contract. The outcome is not biased in favour of one party.
Excellence of effort is based in a belief about the unlimited potential of the Association's members. Members have the opportunity to improve their skills, fulfill their personal potential, set and reasonably expect to be able to achieve personal goals and yes, if they choose, aspire to win Olympic medals. Excellence of effort is not limited to athletic performance. It extends to the performance of officials, coaches and administrators paid or volunteer. Excellence of effort does not imply that individuals are obligated to aspire to higher levels of achievement, but within the resources available, such aspirations will be supported. Striving to be the best that one can be, as over-used as the phrase has become, is valued in the Association.
HOW THIS VALUE MIGHT BE REFLECTED IN SSC
Excellence of effort may be reflected in performance standards which are set for moving on to national teams, acquiring higher levels of official or coaching certification, and recognizing and rewarding many aspects of outstanding performance and volunteer contribution. It also suggests that skaters, officials, coaches and administrators are able to progress and become increasingly more expert and experienced. Accepting leadership carries an inherent expectation of a search for the best decisions and the fulfillment of all duties. Excellence of effort also suggests that evaluation, feedback and recognition are important practices within the association.
Safety has many dimensions. The sport of speed skating must not pose a threat to any participant. Coaching and competition practices must keep skaters safe from injury. Skaters must not be asked to place their physical or psychological health at risk. Members must be free from threat to their mental or physical well-being: They have the right to confidentiality and privacy in personal and personnel matters.
HOW THIS VALUE MIGHT BE REFLECTED IN SSC
The Association understands the importance of risk management knowing that the well-being of the Association and its members are a primary responsibility. Safety standards are established for competitions and coaching practices which protect skaters' safety and health. A zero tolerance exists for harassment of any kind. Personnel records are kept confidential as are any deliberations concerning paid or volunteer personnel. The liability of the Association is protected to the greatest extent possible for reasonably predictable problems.
SSC exists at the volition of its membership. Members provide direction to elected and employed officials about the priorities for progress. The process of decision-making in a volunteer association is, by its nature, consultative. The decision-makers, officials, coaches and representatives of the Association are ultimately accountable to the membership. The Association recognizes and values its volunteers who give freely of their time, experience and expertise. It depends on volunteers to function.
HOW THIS VALUE MIGHT BE RELATED IN SSC
The value of voluntarism is reflected in the democratic nature of the Association. The By-laws and organizational structure demonstrate ultimate accountability to membership. Time lines are established for planning and decision-making which respect the time available to decision-makers and the time needed for authentic consultation. Time and resources are allocated to the recruiting, orientation, training, evaluation and recognition of volunteers. Membership services is a priority within the organization.