Call to Action to Put Child Protection at the Heart of SportSubscribe
NSPCC 24 February 2010
The NSPCC is today (25 February 2010) announcing a ‘Call to Action’ to sports organisations and their partners in England to sign up to a shared vision of child protection in sport for 2015.
The ‘Call to Action’ builds on the progress made over the past decade and has been developed in partnership with the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), Sport England, UK Sport, and the Youth Sport Trust, and marks a tipping point for child protection in sport.
It calls on all organisations providing sport to children to sign up to key actions, such as involving children and young people in creating child protection plans, and ensuring appropriate checks are followed when recruiting staff and volunteers.
NSPCC director of the Child Protection in Sport Unit Anne Tiivas said: “In the year 2000, only one in ten sports bodies completed police checks on paid coaches and staff members dealing with children and almost half had no reporting system in place for handling abuse allegations.
“Thanks to the huge progress made by sports organisations in introducing safeguards, since the creation of the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit in England in 2001, the picture today is very different.
“The NSPCC is calling on anyone providing sport for children to work closely with partners in the statutory, voluntary and private sectors to ensure children and young people can enjoy sport free from all forms of abuse and exploitation.”
Around 8 million children and young people take part in sporting activity each year. Most do so safely, but some children do suffer abuse at the hands of adults working or volunteering in sport.
Sport England’s Director for Children and Young People Mike Diaper said: “A decade ago, sport’s house was not in order when it came to safeguarding children and young people. There have been major advances since then. We want sport to lead the way over the next decade promoting the welfare of children and young people. Sport has so much to offer young people, it’s vital that all sports organisations work together so that every child can participate in a fun and safe environment.”
Anne Tiivas continued: “We must also recognise the role that sport has in identifying and getting help for children who may be experiencing abuse elsewhere. Staff and volunteers need to know what to do if a child turns to them for help.
“The ‘Call to Action’ is a commitment to protect children and young people and deliver a high quality experience for all children playing sport across England.”