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Child protection and safeguarding in sport

Child protection and safeguarding in sport

Every day millions of people participate in sport; such as coaches, athletes, volunteers, referees and organisers. For the majority, this is a positive experience that develops social networks, confidence, skills and knowledge. For others the experience is negative.

Child safeguarding in sport has been given too little attention by many clubs, organisations, funding bodies and governments for a considerable amount of time. The most common reactions being that it does not happen, is someone else’s responsibility or is an isolated incident. These three attitudes are often classified as:
  • Denial
  • Blame
  • Minimisation

These typical responses leave children, coaches, clubs, sports bodies, funding bodies  and governments isolated, vulnerable and, in the long term, severely affected.

Safeguarding children has both a preventive and reactive component; ensuring effective policies, practices and procedures are in place to limit harm occurring, as well as having measures in place to report, investigate and deal with suspicions and incidents.

This section is designed to provide more information on child safeguarding and - by linking with our Toolkit section - the necessary tools to develop and implement a culture that includes practices, procedures and policies. These practices, procedures and policies are to ensure that all who participate in sport remain safe, have fun and learn.