Sport and play can make an important contribution to the lives of children.
As well as the obvious health benefits, sport and play provide opportunities for children to gain social and life skills. That’s why it’s important that everyone who provides these activities does as much as possible to create and maintain an enjoyable and safe environment.
As a parent or carer you play a very important role in protecting your child and helping them get the best out of their involvement in any sport or play activity.
Always check how the sports club or play activity is run. Even though the organisation may seem well run, don’t make any assumptions – always check it out for yourself. Remember a well run club will welcome questions about their activities and policies. They will know they have a responsibility to give this kind of information to anyone who leaves a child in their care.
Always check how the sports club or play activity is run. Even though the organisation may seem well run, don’t make any assumptions – always check it out for yourself.
Remember a well run club will welcome questions about their activities and policies. They will know they have a responsibility to give this kind of information to anyone who leaves a child in their care.
Have they all been selected through a proper recruitment process? This should include interviews, references and the Disclosure and Barring Service checks for staff working with children.
In addition to sports skills, they should all have been trained in safeguarding children and health and safety procedures.
There should be someone in charge to supervise staff and volunteers at all times.
Make sure that there is a leader qualified in first aid and that there is a first aid box, arrangements for drinks and guidelines about dealing with injuries; also that the premises satisfy fire regulations.
If your child needs help with using the toilet, feeding, or medication, ask about the procedures for personal care needs.
Your child’s coach should have a recognised qualification that includes child protection training.
The sports club or centre should inform you about the event arrangements, including transport to and from the venue. You should also be given information about the venue itself. If it is a long way from home, you should be given a contact number for use in emergencies.
The sports organisation should be prepared to listen and tell you what to do. They should offer information about local or national services that can also offer advice and support if you are unhappy about the way your concern is dealt with.
There should be a written code of behaviour showing what is required of staff, volunteers and participants.
Sports and leisure organisations should have a child safeguarding policy, with a clear procedure for dealing with concerns about possible abuse. Parents and carers should be able to view the policy on request.
The club should have clear guidelines about physical contact and social activities between staff, volunteers, participating children and parents. find out who in the club you can speak to if you have concerns about boundaries.