Five example situations to get you thinking and talking about child safeguarding.

Running laps

Timothy arrives late for football practice. His coach makes him run laps for 10 minutes before he is permitted to participate in training.

  • Has Timothy learned not to arrive late or that running is an activity that should not be enjoyed?
  • Has Timothy benefited from running laps or has he experienced harm by not being able to train with his peers?
  • What is an acceptable reason for being late to practice?

Tear in clothing

While playing sitting volleyball, the players begin to make fun of and laugh at Emily, who has a tear in her shorts. The coach laughs and tells them to get on with the game.

  • Is everyone finding this experience fun and enjoyable?
  • How will the coach’s reaction on this occasion affect behaviour in the future?

New coach

Rosemary is a basketball coach who has just moved to a new village. The local basketball team needs a new coach; she offers and starts working immediately. After a couple of months, athletes and parents begin to make complaints about her behaviour.

  • Does the management know anything about her past?
  • Have there been any measures to protect the club and athletes?
  • What are the possible implications for the club, the coach and the athletes if the complaints are found to be true?

Keeping it in mind

James is the president of a football club. A parent expresses a concern about how a coach behaved on a recent trip. The coach travelled alone with the team to a major tournament because of budget restrictions. James says that he will look into it, but nothing is recorded.

  • Is this the first time a concern has been expressed?
  • Is the organisation doing all it can to protect athletes and coaches?
  • Has the coach been put in an unfair situation?

On the pitch

Samantha is an athlete at the local cricket club. She is never very enthusiastic about coming to practice or playing matches. Her father brings her to every training session and match; always staying to support her.

  • Who is gaining from Samantha being a part of the club?
  • What is in the best interests of Samantha?
  • Is this a safeguarding issue and if so how could it be tackled?