Coaching and Safeguarding in 2015
By David Turner sports coach UK Coaching Children Lead
Name the most inspirational coach of your childhood and one thing is almost certain...However great that coach was, they didn’t have to worry about the range of new concerns in safeguarding and child protection that today’s coaches face.
As a new year is upon us, this seems a great opportunity to reflect on how much coaching has moved forward in the first 15 years of the 21stCentury and likewise how new challenges for coaches of children have developed. Bit by bit I feel we’re also winning the argument that child abuse in sport does not begin and end with sexual abuse. In fact NSPCC research from 2011 suggested that 70% of abuse reported in sport was emotional abuse. The long-term effects of emotional abuse are often neglected and addressing this is something i’m certainly hoping to do this year.
Nowadays we have Safeguarding and Protecting Children courses that so many coaches have attended and with the arrival of online safeguarding renewal this year, ensuring you’re up-to-date has never been easier.
Training itself is also evolving to help coaches identify and respond to new safeguarding concerns. For example sports coach UK’s new online renewal offers not just a module in safeguarding training renewal, but also digital communication and positive parental behaviour. For the first time these topics are now covered in depth, allowing a whole new experience for safeguarding training and avoiding having to take a similar course every three years. Hopefully this provides experienced coaches with a much more positive and rewarding experience in their safeguarding training.
We also hope that in the near future we’ll be able to offer more safeguarding training options such as modules on body image and eating disorders, hazing and safeguarding elite young people. Being able to bespoke a coaches learning journey in safeguarding has long been a hope of mine and now we’re almost there!
So as we welcome in the New Year, it’s certainly worth reflecting on how well equipped today’s coaches are for the world of coaching in 2015 and how much coach education has moved on in terms of safeguarding and protecting children.