Gaps in safeguarding in sport
Gaps in safeguarding in sport
From knowledge to training, research to structures, and systems to statutes the safeguarding movement in the sports world has gaps to bridge in order to create safe sporting environments.
The global safeguarding in sport movement is gathering momentum as leading sport organisations are embracing the need to prioritise creating a safe sport environment for sustainable growth of sport programmes. As the safeguarding in sport movement gathers traction, research studies have identified different types of gaps in the implementation of safeguarding programmes and initiatives. This article provides insight on the key gaps and proffers solutions that can be used to bridge gaps and to increase the impact and influence of safeguarding in sport.
Safeguarding knowledge gap
Safeguarding knowledge is the foundation for the safeguarding process as it provides the necessary information that builds safe sport environments. The safeguarding knowledge gap exists when sport organisations, sport participants and sport stakeholders create an environment in which there is limited safeguarding knowledge sharing and low safeguarding knowledge generation.
Sport organisations, sport participants and sport stakeholders have critical roles to play in generating, sharing, teaching and equipping the policy makers and the public with safeguarding knowledge. The safeguarding knowledge gap is dominant in developing regions such as Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America where very limited publications have been made on the subject of safeguarding in sport.
Safeguarding research gap
Safeguarding knowledge, systems, practices, procedures and policies should be grounded on reliable research evidence. The safeguarding research gap is evidenced by lack of reliable, researched and documented safeguarding knowledge and information. Safeguarding research evidence is critical in building the wealth of knowledge and information which can be used to build frameworks, policies and strategies for enhancing safeguarding systems.
Safeguarding researchers, specialists, sport organisations and sport stakeholders need to adopt a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to generate a wider and global evidence base to promote advocacy, awareness and action to eradicate violations of safeguarding principles in sport. Sport-specific studies of safeguarding policies, practices and programmes in different national, regional, continental and international sport governing bodies must be conducted to generate knowledge and inform interventions. Safeguarding researchers in sport organisations and outside of sport would mutually benefit by building strategic, systematic and collaborative safeguarding research networks.
This would build platforms for shared learning, build a wider resources base, reduce duplication of roles, enhance the benefits of research for sport and non-sport organisations that have direct interests in safeguarding. In addition to research, monitoring and evaluation systems for safeguarding sport programmes should be developed and implemented continuously in order to evaluate impact, provide recommendations and make improvements to safeguarding inventions.