NSPCC’s ‘Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week is being backed by a number of sporting icons

The NSPCC’s Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week urges parents to recognise how negative behaviour at sporting events and activities can impact children.

NUFC legend Alan Shearer, Sunderland AFC and Northumberland Cricket Board have joined forces alongside a host of ex-football pros in support of the NSPCC’s Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week campaign, which this year calls on parents to show positive support for their children in their activities.

More than one in four parents (28%) who attend their child’s sports club or activity said they have seen or experienced inappropriate behaviour, a new NSPCC survey has revealed. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This includes shouting insults, intimidating or threatening behaviour or fights between parents, guardians, carers or children.

The YouGov poll1, commissioned by the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) to mark the launch of the charity’s Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week, also found that 68% of these parents said they or their children or both had felt uncomfortable because of it, and almost one in five parents said no action had been taken to stop it. 

Read South Tyneside's news on the go with our free email newsletters - bringing the headlines to your inbox. Catch up on the day's news and sport and enjoy even more from your Gazette. Visit our website here to find out more and sign up.

Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week campaignKeeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week campaign
Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week campaign

This year’s campaign is calling on parents to:

  • Recognise that negative behaviour, including at sporting events, can have an impact on their child and their enjoyment of their chosen sport or club.
  •  Understand their crucial safeguarding role in their child's sport and help keep them safe from possible abuse.
  •  Get involved in their child’s sporting club or activity and show positive support. Sport is safest when everyone plays their role in keeping children safe, including parents.

The charity has launched a new video which explores how behaviour from the sidelines can affect young sportspeople.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Entitled My No.1 Fan, the short film features interviews with families talking about what positive parental behaviour and support means to them and how negative behaviour can impact children’s enjoyment of sport.

Premier League and England football icon Alan Shearer said: I’m supporting Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week because I think it’s really important that we support children in sport. 

"I’m aware of the rises and falls of sport and it can be an emotional experience for young people. It is vital that adults are around young people every step of the way because they can make a huge difference.”

Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week is being supported by sports clubs and sportspeople across the UK at all levels, including the youngest ever British Olympian, skateboarder Sky Brown.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Pip Gibb-Kirk, County Safeguarding Officer, Northumberland Cricket Board, said: We are proud to support Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week in partnership with NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit. 

“We cannot provide the cricketing opportunities we do in our performance pathway without the support of parents and carers.  We strive to find ways of capturing our children and young people's voices to reflect the influence parents have, what is helpful and what is unhelpful."

Ex Newcastle United legend and national sports broadcast host Mick Quinn is also supporting the campaign.

Michelle North, head of CPSU, said: “We’re delighted that the sporting hot bed that is the North East is supporting this year’s Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We know that inappropriate behaviour has a negative impact on young people and affects their enjoyment of the sport or activity, which in positive and safe environments can bring a lot of fulfilment to their lives."

The NSPCC and its CPSU want to bring together parents and sports clubs and bodies to help give them the confidence and knowledge about the role they can play in keeping their children safe in sports and activity settings.

Last weekend, the NSPCC supported the Football Association’s Play Safe campaign - a countrywide campaign to focus attention on the vital importance of safeguarding in our national game.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sir Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, added: “Our Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week campaign highlights how important parents and carers are in a child's sporting life. You can make a difference by being involved and supporting your child in their club or activity in a positive way and helping to spread the word about keeping children safe in sport.

To find out more about being your child’s biggest supporter and how to get involved with the campaign, visit thecpsu.org.uk/parents