CHILDLINE ADVICE: Knowing who to contact over any sporting club concerns

This week, the NSPCC’s Child Protection In Sport Unit is running its annual Parents In Sport Week – a campaign supported by sports clubs at all levels across the country.

We’ve created a free online course for parents on keeping children safe.
We’ve created a free online course for parents on keeping children safe.

Childline counsellors know how valuable sport and exercise is to young people’s wellbeing in the North East and across the UK, and we always stress the importance of speaking to a trusted adult whenever they have a concern at home, school, or at their clubs.

But it’s also essential that parents know who to turn to if they are worried about anything at their child’s sport clubs, and that’s where this campaign can help.

New research by NSPCC and YouGov found one in five parents said they wouldn’t know who to turn to if they had concerns about a child’s welfare at their sporting club.

Working with teams across the region and the UK, we aim to highlight the role parents play in youth sport and equip parents with vital safeguarding knowledge.

We’ve created a free online course for parents on keeping children safe, a new animation which helps parents identify when something might be wrong in their child’s sport, and a new online Parents Hub containing straightforward safeguarding information.

Choosing a sports club is like choosing a nursery or school – you need to think about whether you and your child feel comfortable there and it’s a safe place for them to attend – so here are a few things to remember.

Every club should have a child welfare officer in post, and their name and contact details should be easily available. You can check if the club has a safeguarding policy in place and understand how that protects children, and remember the NSPCC Helpline is available to discuss any questions or concerns.

Of course, Childline is always there for young people to highlight any worries or concerns.

We hope that by continuing to support clubs with their essential safeguarding work, and by providing parents with the tools they need to spot poor practice or abuse whenever it happens, adults can gain the confidence to speak out about any concerns they have and ensure better protection for children.