Sports Coach UK Statement: Safeguarding and Protecting Children
Fri, 25 Nov 2016
We are saddened to hear of recent events regarding sexual abuse cases within football and recognise the courage it has taken the victims to bring these to light.
Sports Coach UK takes all matters of safeguarding and child protection seriously. We stand by the FA in encouraging anyone who has experienced or is experiencing abuse to contact the NSPCC confidential 24 hour helpline on 0808 800 5000 or Child Line for children and young people: 0800 1111.
If a parent, volunteer or anyone associated with a club witnesses anything that they feel should be reported, they are advised to speak with the club welfare officer, the governing body of sport, or the NSPCC directly.
For more than 20 years, we have worked closely with the NSPCC and Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) to set the right standards and to raise awareness among coaches of how to recognise and respond to signs of child abuse. We work with governing bodies of sport to train and educate coaches. Our safeguarding programme of workshops continues to be attended by over 20,000 coaches every year. These workshops are updated to reflect changing threats to young people.
The vast majority of coaches play a critical role in introducing children to sport and physical activity, resulting in healthy lifestyles for millions of people. They can also act as sentinel reporters, identifying potential cases of abuse and alerting the authorities.
Coaches must demonstrate a high degree of honesty, integrity and competence, but more than anything they have a duty of care for the participants they coach. Inappropriate behaviour should not be tolerated and the need for coaches to understand and act on their responsibilities is vital to sport and physical activity.
Many employers have adopted our Minimum Standards for Active Coaches, which require every coach working with children to have a DBS check or Home Country equivalent. This is implemented via Governing Bodies and employers.
Whilst we will never be complacent, we believe that children and young people are enjoying sport and activity today within a safeguarding framework that is better than ever before. We will continue to work in partnership with the CPSU to promote and advocate the highest of standards across physical activity and sport.
To find out more about the safeguarding policies and procedures within any given sport, type the name of the sport and the word safeguarding into a search engine. That should take you to the relevant pages of the Governing Body's website.
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