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Launch of child safeguards to make sport safer for children

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Launch of child safeguards to make sport safer for children

Eight international safeguards to protect children in sport were announced at the Beyond Sport Summit in South Africa.

On 30 October at the Beyond Sport Summit in Johannesburg, the International Safeguarding Children in Sport Working Group launched a set of safeguards designed to make sport safer for children.

The working group is made up of a panel of experts in the fields of sport, child protection, security, education and sports medicine.  

Millions of children and young people take part in sporting activities every day across the world. For some children this is purely for recreation, for others a chosen career and for some a path out of poverty. But it is increasingly recognised that too often children taking part in sporting activities are not properly protected from harm, leading to incidences of abuse and harm.

Overall the safeguards aim to:

  • Help create a safe sporting environment for children wherever they participate and at whatever level
  • Provide guidance to sports providers so they can ensure organisations they work with know-how to protect children
  • Promote good practice for sporting organisations to follow and challenge practice that is harmful to children
  • Provide clarity on safeguarding children so all those involved in sport know how to keep children safe

Liz Twyford, Unicef UK sports programme specialist said: "All children have the right to participate in sport in a safe and enjoyable environment; it is a crucial part of a happy, healthy childhood. UNICEF UK is one of a number of organisations that has worked on trialling these standards with sporting organisations so we can be confident that they will enable everyone involved in sport to stop and think about the risks to children and have appropriate measures in place to prevent abuse."

"Staff and volunteers who provide sports activities can end up being a real lifeline for children – which is why is it essential that all sports organisations have safeguarding measures in place and most importantly a team of people on-board that feel enable to take action and do so willingly. These new safeguards set out the key steps that every organisation can take – right from the recruitment stage to developing policies and procedures to ensure children’s safety well-being and protection across all sports." said Anne Tiivas, director, NSPCC - Child Protection in Sport Unit.

Amanda Dlamini, South Africa national football player and Jockey South Africa ambassador launched the safeguards at the Beyond Sport Summit.

Amanda said "I very much welcome the safeguards to make sport safer. I know how the power of sport can improve lives but also what the horrible impact can be when things go wrong. The more organisations can do to make sport safe the greater the world of sport will be. Participating in sport should be a positive, empowering experience. We all need to embrace the safeguards and make sport safe for children."

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International Safeguarding Children in Sport Working Group

Published

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 23:00