Children’s charity launches new initiative to protect children in sports clubs
A children’s charity has launched a new initiative to protect young people in sports clubs across Wales.
According to the NSPCC, more than one in four parents who attend their child’s sports club or activity say they have seen or experienced inappropriate behaviour.
‘Keeping Children Safe in Sport Week’ urges parents to recognise how negative behaviour at sporting events and activities can impact children
The campaign is backed by Football Association Wales, Weightlifting Wales, Tennis Wales, Table Tennis Wales, Cardiff Rugby and Glamorgan Cricket.
The Inappropriate behaviour highlighted by the 28% of parents who have witnessed it, included shouting insults, intimidating, or threatening behaviour and fights between parents, guardians, carers or children.
A YouGov poll, commissioned by the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) to mark the launch of Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week, also found that 68% of these parents said they or their children or both had felt uncomfortable because of it, and almost one in five parents said no action had been taken to stop it.
This year’s campaign is calling on parents to:
- Recognise that negative behaviour, including at sporting events, can have an impact on their child and their enjoyment of their chosen sport or club.
- Understand their crucial safeguarding role in their child’s sport and help keep them safe from possible abuse.
- Get involved in their child’s sporting club or activity and show positive support. Sport is safest when everyone plays their role in keeping children safe, including parents.
The charity has also launched a new video which explores how behaviour from the side-lines can affect young sportspeople.
The short film, My No.1 Fan, features interviews with families talking about what positive parental behaviour and support means to them and how negative behaviour can impact children’s enjoyment of sport.
Senior Safeguarding and Player Welfare Manager at FAW, Sian Jones said, “Safeguarding is of the utmost importance to the FAW and we fully support the NSPCC’s Keeping your Child Safe in Sport Week.
“We would encourage all NGB’s and activity providers, as well as parents and guardians to get behind the campaign and explore the fantastic resources available to them to ensure a positive, enjoyable and safe sporting experience for children.”
Simon Roach, Designated Safeguarding Lead, Weightlifting Wales, said; “Weightlifting Wales is committed to safeguarding people participating in sport.
“We know how important it is for everyone to play their part to protect children from abuse, therefore we are proud to support Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week.
“We look forward to sharing information about the campaign on social media and would encourage our members as well as parents and guardians to learn more and play their part in keeping children safe.”
Rhys Blumberg, Chief Operating Officer at Cardiff Rugby said; “Cardiff Rugby is again proud to support this year’s NSPCC’s Keeping your Child Safe in Sport Week.
“We must all guarantee a safe and positive sporting environment for children and young people.
“We would encourage all sporting bodies in Wales as well as parents and guardians to back the campaign and to use the NSPCC resources available to understand how to make confident informed decisions when raising concerns with their child’s sport club.”
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