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The pioneers behind safeguarding children in sport


The pioneers behind safeguarding children in sport

We know sport can make a big difference in children’s lives, but it can only do this if delivered in a safe and supportive environment. In the final article of the series, the International Safeguarding Children in Sport Working Group presents its pioneering contribution to this important issue.

In 2012, a group of organisations working in sport, sport for development, child protection, and international development, came together to explore how to make sport safer for children around the world.

As a result of these initial discussions a coalition of more than 40 organisations are now working together at international, national and local levels to help make sport safer in four key ways:

  1. Building the capacity of organisations involved in delivering sporting and sport for development activities to children; supporting them to develop systems to make sport safer
  2. Working alongside governments and the international bodies responsible for policies in sport, to build a culture of safeguarding within sport itself
  3. Developing the evidence base in order to identify the most effective ways to make sport safer, in a range of contexts and organisations
  4. Sharing this learning across the global sporting landscape, to support all organisations with a responsibility for children in sport to improve their safeguards

We have already spent more than 18 months working together, alongside researchers from Brunel University, to develop the International Safeguards for Children in Sport, but our work doesn’t end there.

We are continuing to work together to understand how different organisations, sports and communities around the world, make these safeguards a reality. With the support of researchers, we will gather this learning to develop ‘implementation guidance’ to help others who wish to start their own safeguarding journey.

Our partners, the ‘pioneers’, include both policy-makers such as governmental organisations, international federations, donors and umbrella bodies, and practitioners, sporting and sport for development organisations working directly with children. This will help make sure that our implementation guidance will be genuinely useful across the sector.

The pioneers form a strong network of knowledgeable advocates, who can share the safeguarding message with their peers, and support them to begin their own safeguarding journey. We plan to build on this network by attending relevant conferences, and meeting key agencies to spread the safeguarding in sport message more widely.

Ultimately, we aim to share our work as broadly as possible, so that any organisation, whatever their capacity, can access resources and begin their own safeguarding journey.

If you missed them the first time, review the articles previously highlighted in this series:


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Liz Twyford


Tuesday, June 9, 2015 - 23:00