FAW and WRU back new NSPCC sports safety campaign
A leading children’s charity has launched a new sports safeguarding campaign backed by sporting organisations across Wales.
The NSPCC campaign seeks to ensure parents have the knowledge and confidence to raise safeguarding concerns after a new poll revealed almost a fifth of parents surveyed are not confident they could spot the signs if their child was suffering sexual, physical or emotional abuse at their local sports club.
The research carried out by YouGov on behalf of the children’s charity also found that one in 10 parents (10%) were not confident they knew how to raise concerns with their child’s sports club about their child’s safety.
New data has also revealed the number of contacts to the NSPCC Helpline from adults from across the UK with safeguarding questions or concerns about children in a sports setting has almost doubled in the last five years.
The UK-wide Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week campaign, is backed by the FAW and WRU and numerous other bodies including Weightlifting Wales, Welsh Athletics and Wales Golf, and launches today, Monday 3 October.
The campaign aims to provide parents and carers with the knowledge and resources needed to make confident informed decisions when raising concerns with their child’s sport club. Advice tools and supporting information are available from the NSPCC and its Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU).
Sian Jones, Safeguarding and Player Welfare Manager at Football Association of Wales, said: “Everyone involved with sport has a role to play to keep children safe, from grassroots clubs to professional organisations, and of course, parents and guardians.
“That is why the FAW is proud to endorse the NSPCC’s Keeping your Child Safe in Sport Week and urges all parents and guardians to support this campaign and to use the resources available to them.
“Together, we must all guarantee a safe and positive sporting environment for children and young people.”
A Weightlifting Wales spokesperson said: “Weightlifting Wales is proud to support Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport campaign, helping parents and carers to know what to look out for and empowering them to raise concerns in their child’s sport.
“It is a responsibility of us all to keep children safe in sport. We encourage parents and carers to visit the NSPCC’s website for their parent advice, resources, and eLearning.”
Meanwhile Cardiff Rugby has given permission for a bucket collection in support of the campaign to take place at The Arms Park at the Cardiff Met vs Cardiff University match on Wednesday, October 5.
Over the years the NSPCC Helpline have opened dedicated phonelines numbers for different sports to help support those impacted by abuse in sport. Currently a free dedicated NSPCC helpline commissioned by British Cycling has been set up in response to a number of individuals speaking out about non-recent abuse, including former professional cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins CBE, who revealed earlier this year he had been groomed by a former coach.
Sir Bradley said: “I back the NSPCC’s Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week campaign which strives to prevent abuse of any kind happening to children in sport. We must make sport safe for children, and make it easier for parents, and indeed all people in sport, to recognise and understand how they themselves can support a safer sports environment.”
As well as social media support from sporting clubs and figures across the country, virtual webinars for parents to promote safeguarding in youth sport will run throughout the week.
Michelle North, Director of the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit, said: “For many of us, it was playing at our local grassroots sports clubs as children where we first encountered a deep lifelong love and passion for sport. Every child and young person deserves to enjoy sport in an environment that is safe from abuse and harm and where they can play within a culture that advocates for their care and wellbeing.
“Parents and carers play a key role in keeping children safe in sport. This is why during the NSPCC’s Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week campaign, we want to empower parents and carers with the knowledge, information and confidence needed to uphold child safeguarding.”
For the latest news from the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit, follow @theCPSU on Twitter.
For more information about the campaign and to gain access to the supporting resources please visit: www.nspcc.org.uk/safeinsport
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