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Supporting athletes impacted by abuse


To serve athletes, former athletes, parents, coaches, and sports communities through crisis response, mental well-being intervention, informational resources, and reporting guidance for concerns about emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Courage First’s team of athlete-centered counselors offer confidential assistance through calls, text, and online chat.

About us

The Courage First Athlete Helpline is a helpline for athletes and communities involved in every type of sport. The initiative builds on the expertise of the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline and the commitment of the Foundation for Global Sports Development to empower athletes of all ages through fair play and safe participation in athletics.

In service to this effort, we:

  • explore avenues of outreach to athletes and those in the sports field who are concerned about athlete well-being and abuse of any kind
  • train counselors in issues related to emotional health and abuse in sports
  • develop targeted resources for athletes, parents, coaches, and sports communities
  • implement ongoing research to improve services for youth and adults who have experienced maltreatment
  • empower survivors of abuse wherever they are in their journey to heal and reach their full potential
  • nurture safe spaces, honoring the diversity of experiences and identities that shape our work

The two organizations have worked together for nearly 25 years, with the Foundation for Global Sports Development sponsoring athletic activities, sports and ancillary therapies at Childhelp facilities, and providing seed funding for Childhelp’s Speak Up Be Safe for Athletes, a prevention education initiative for youth athletics. The partnership in recent years has extended through symposia and expert Q&A sessions around screenings of “At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal,” the award-winning documentary on sex abuse in U.S. Olympic Gymnastics, survivors and the system that failed them.

Advisory Committee

The Courage First Athlete Helpline is supported by an Advisory Committee providing guidance, input, and expertise for this project.

Lori Okimura

Vice President of World ParaVolley
Former Trustee of Safe Sport International
Executive Board Member of Angel City Sports

Board Position: Organizational Leader

Jon Vaughn

Former NFL & University of Michigan Football Player
Abuse Survivor

Board Position: Athlete

Brittany Rogers

Two-Time Olympian – Team Canada
Former University of Georgia Gymnast

Board Position: Athlete

Lisa Finegan

World Rugby Educator
Team USA Athlete/Trauma-Informed Coach
Co-Director of Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF) Leadership Academy

Board Position: Athlete/Coach/Educator

Robin Ortiz, MD, MS, FAAP

Asst Professor of Pediatrics & Population Health
NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Attending Physician
NYC Health + Hospitals | Bellevue

Board Position: Researcher

Anita Daniels, MSW,LCSW, LCAS, CCS

USOPC and NFLPA Registered Clinician
Founding member and former President of the Alliance for Social Workers in Sports

Board Position: Mental Health Clinician

Brooke Olsen Roush

VP of Client Engagement & Training –
Know Your Strengths
Former Montana State University Volleyball Athlete

Board Position: Parent Representative

Courage First Athlete Helpline is presented by the Foundation for Global Sports Development/Sidewinder Films and the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline.