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Top tips for parents in sport

Gateley Legal

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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. 

The fundamental principles of Safeguarding: 

  • Empowerment
  • Prevention
  • Proportionality
  • Protection
  • Partnership
  • Accountability

As a minimum and even at weekend recreational level, we would expect all sporting clubs and organisations, coaches, and instructors to have the following: -

  • A Designated Safeguarding Lead 
  • A Safeguarding Policy 
  • Appropriate Safeguarding procedures for example how to report a concern and how to deal with safeguarding concerns

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.

NSPCC Parents in Sport Week 2021

This years campaign from the NSPCC focuses on giving parents the information and tools they need to be part of the bigger safeguarding picture in sport. As part of this year's campaign, the NSPCC have launched several new resources for parents to help skill them up on keeping their child safe in sport.

Watch the NSPCC's animation fot parents on what abuse might look like in sport and how to get help:

Sign up as a NSPCC Parents in Sport Week campaigner here Take the NSPCC e-learning course and learn how to keep your child safe

Do you need further advice on safeguarding?

If you would like any further bespoke advice, please get in touch with our expert listed below, you can also find out more on our Safeguarding offering and toolkits by visiting our safeguarding service page.

Gateley Plc is authorised and regulated by the SRA (Solicitors' Regulation Authority). Please visit the SRA website for details of the professional conduct rules which Gateley Legal must comply with.

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