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Safeguarding Children and Adults in Sport

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Everyone in Wales has the right to take part in sport – and to do so in a safe environment. 

It is a sad fact that some young people and adults at risk have experienced abuse and/or poor practice when participating in sport. And of course, some children or adults who take part in sport may be experiencing abuse outside of sport - at home or within the wider community.

Substantial progress has been made in the safeguarding of children and adults at risk in sport, but we cannot be complacent when it comes to keeping people safe.

How can sports organisations help keep children safe?

Coaches, volunteers and officials are in the privileged position of having an opportunity to build strong relationships with  people in their care and are therefore well placed to recognise signs that a child or adult may be being abused.

This can be achieved by being aware of the risks which abusers or potential abusers may pose , being aware of any signs that might suggest someone is experiencing abuse and responding to any concerns effectively.

Sports organisations should recognise the importance of ensuring the right procedures are in place that outline the appropriate steps to take in the event of a concern. It is also essential to make sure that organisations have comprehensive policies and are up to date with practical guidance that promotes the welfare of children and adults at risk and minimises any identifiable risks within the sports environment.

Safeguarding Children - Child Protection in Sport Unit

Welsh sport has a close relationship with the NSPCC through the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU).

The CPSU is commissioned by Sport Wales to implement a set of standards for sports organisations in Wales. These are called the Standards for Safeguarding and Protecting Children in and through Sport in Wales.

As part of the process to work towards the standards, the CPSU work with governing bodies and other sports organisations on aspects such as safeguarding policies, action plans for communication with people taking part in their sport, and safeguarding education and training.

Their website provides resources such as a safeguarding self-assessment tool for your organisation, best practice guidance, videos, podcasts, toolkits and webinars.

To find out more about how the CPSU can help your organisation, please visit the CPSU website.

Coach on rugby pitch carrying cones

Safeguarding Adults at Risk - Ann Craft Trust

The Ann Craft Trust is funded by Sport Wales to support sport and activity organisations in developing best practice in safeguarding adults. The Ann Craft Trust can support sports organisations by providing information, training and advice at all levels of organisations including:

  • Participants and athletes
  • Volunteers and staff
  • Coaches and Officials
  • Club Welfare Officers
  • Lead Safeguarding Officers
  • Senior Management and Board Members

Please visit the Ann Craft Trust website to find out more about how they can help your organisation.  

Disclosure and Barring Service

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is a government service. It replaced the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). 

It helps prevent unsuitable people from working with children and other vulnerable groups. It carries out DBS checks (previously known as CRB checks) which is a criminal records check. It helps organisations like sports clubs make safer volunteer recruitment decisions.

More information on DBS checks is available on the Vibrant Nation website.

Alternatively visit the Club Solutions website.

Safeguarding at Clubs

Grassroots clubs, other sporting organisations and activity providers, have a duty to protect children and keep them safe from harm. That duty means putting in place a child protection policy and appointing a club welfare officer. 

To find out more about what clubs should do to help safeguard children as well as available training, visit the Club Solutions website

Welsh Sport Safeguarding Hub

CPSU Wales has teamed up with the Ann Craft Trust to create the Welsh Sport Safeguarding Hub.

The Hub is aimed at increased sharing of best practice and a more joined up approach in safeguarding both children and adults in sport. Officers within the hub will work closely together to raise the profile of safeguarding within the sport sector and with statutory agencies, providing shared learning, training and support. You can get in touch with the Hub on 029 2033 4975.

Reporting a concern

Should you have any concerns about the safety and wellbeing of a child, there are several options:

- If you think a child or adult is in immediate danger of abuse, contact the police on 999.

- If there's no immediate danger and you are unsure of who to speak to, you can speak to your club or organisation designated child welfare/safeguarding officer, or call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 for immediate advice. 

For more information on reporting a concern or incident, please visit the Club Solutions website