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Active Cumbria backs NSPCC Campaign to Keep Children Safe in Sport

Councillor Deborah Earl

Parents in Sports Week promotes parents’ engagement in their children’s sports, it aims to highlight the important role parents play in youth sport, from helping to keep children safe, to encouraging them to take part and achieve.

The NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) carried out a survey with sports parents, and parents said one of their main worries about sport during the Covid-19 pandemic was how to keep children safe while communicating with clubs and coaches online.

The NSPCC and O2 are offering free 30-minute webinars for groups of parents, grandparents and carers, making it easy for you to keep your family safe online. Webinars are delivered by experienced NSPCC staff. Topics covered include: why children enjoy using the internet and how it can help them, as well as the risks.

As part of Parents in Sport Week 2020, we’re encouraging clubs to get in touch with the NSPCC/O2 Online Safety Partnership and arrange an online workshop for parents in their sport.

The charity is encouraging parents to become more informed about their children’s sports during Parents in Sport Week 2020 – an event which celebrates positive parental involvement in youth sport.

Richard Johnston, Senior Manager at Active Cumbria said: “We back this campaign and would encourage clubs and parents too as well. We also provide training for any clubs in Safeguarding & Protecting Children, and the follow up course for Club Welfare Officers ‘Time to Listen’. Both of these courses are accredited by UK Coaching and the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit.”

As part of this year’s Parents in Sports Week (5 – 11 October), the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) is urging parents to sign the Sports Parents Promise to help them choose a safe club for their children and to ensure they have a positive influence when supporting from the sidelines.

Deborah Earl, Portfolio Holder for Public Health and Communities at Cumbria County Council said: “Sport is a brilliant way for children to not only get exercise, but to build confidence and decrease things such as stress, anger and anxiety. I would urge any parent to make the Sports Parents Promise to help their child have a safe and enjoyable experience in their sport.”

The Sports Parents Promise offers parents helpful guidance on what makes a safe sports club, how to respond if they have any worries or concerns, and how to show positive sideline behaviour when attending games and tournaments.

The NSPCC’s CPSU website also has detailed guidance on what to look for in a sports club, and questions to ask, including:

  • Are the club’s policies and procedures available for parents to read, including how they deal with concerns over poor practice and abuse?
  • Does the club have a welfare or safeguarding officer as a contact for any concerns?
  • Do they have written standards for good practice, such as a code of conduct?
  • Has the club asked for essential medical and emergency contact information?
  • Has the club asked for parental consent for a child to participate?
  • What has the club done to ensure their staff are safe to work with children?

The NSPCC also offers support and guidance through the helpline, on 0808 800 5000 or on email at [email protected]

For clubs and other activity providers the NSPCC offers support in developing, improving and assessing their safeguarding policies. For more information, sports club staff and volunteers can visit https://thecpsu.org.uk

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