As a parent of a child involved in any level of sport from recreational to elite, you often leave your child with an adult or group of adults for a training session or match.
Some facilities and sports allow for side-line support and viewing galleries, but this might not always be possible if travel is involved or if COVID restrictions are still in place. The coach or instructor holds a position of responsibility which requires trust and confidence from a parent.
Safeguarding in sport centres around protecting a child so it is important to be fully aware and understand the safeguarding framework that is in place to protect your child.
In addition to the above, most sporting clubs and organisations also have social medial policies, parent forums and safeguarding checklists. As a parent, there will be numerous forms and documents to sign if your child is involved in sport; please always familiarise yourself with the safeguarding documents and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Safeguarding in sport shouldn’t be a tick box exercise, it exists to put in place protective and supportive measures so that children can participate, enjoy and be safe. It is also important to talk to your child so that they also understand the safeguarding framework in place. Larger sporting clubs and organisations often have safeguarding champions which offers another person to speak to within that sporting environment.
Most coaches and instructors will be subject to DBS, criminal record checks. It is within your right as a parent to ask if these checks have been completed and if issues have been raised.
If you have any safeguarding concerns as a parent, do not keep quiet, always raise them with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, the sporting national body, and NSPCC.