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Cornwall’s Cornish Pirates has backed an NSPCC campaign which is raising awareness of where parents can turn if they have concerns at their child’s sports club.
An online survey*, conducted on behalf of the NSPCC by YouGov, has found that 20% of parents** who had children in sports and leisure clubs, wouldn’t know who to speak to if they had any worries about a child’s welfare at the club (including those who answered don’t know).
This is why the Pirates are backing Parents in Sport Week (4-10 October 2021) – an annual campaign run by the NSPCCs Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU), aiming to equip EVERY parent with the safeguarding knowledge they need, and highlight the important role parents play in youth sport.
Reflecting on the importance of the week, Cornish Pirates player and young dad, Tom Duncan said: “As we witness on a regular basis, sport is something to be enjoyed by all, and it also provides wonderful opportunities for our children, helping them to not only develop but to also learn valuable life lessons.
“In our role as parents, along with everyone else we want to do all we can to make sure our children are safe, and that the NSPCC are once again delivering their annual Parents in Sports Week campaign is great because it is so important to remind people of its aims.”
As part of the campaign the charity has issued three key safeguarding tips for parents in relation to children’s sport:
This year, the CPSU has also launched special new resources aimed at parents, to help them understand their role in keeping children safe and who they can turn to for help if they have any worries about their child’s sport.
Resources include a free e-learning course for parents on keeping their child safe; a new animation which helps parents identify when something might be wrong in their child’s sport; and the new NSPCC CPSU Parents Hub – an online destination packed full of safeguarding information for parents.
The NSPCC’s Child Protection In Sport Unit was founded in 2001 in response to a series of high-profile cases of abuse of young athletes. Since then, the unit has worked closely with hundreds of governing bodies of sports and local partnerships to provide safeguarding guidance and embed safeguarding best practice in sport.
The campaign comes in a year of high profile concerns about abuse in sport including gymnastics, football and athletics. The NSPCC wants to encourage parents with a child in any sport to seek advice from its Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or emailing [email protected] if they have any worries about their child’s experience in sport or physical activity.
Paul Stephenson, Senior Consultant at the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit, said:
“We’re proud to be running our annual Parents in Sport Week in its sixth year to help more parents be a significant part of their children’s sporting lives and to help ensure their experience is safe and fun. Every year since the campaign’s conception countless sports bodies, clubs and coaches have supported our aims and worked hard to develop better relationships with parents and carers.
“This year, the NSPCC wants to provide the tools needed to help parents and carers access important information to keep their children safe in sport, to spot poor practice and to empower them to speak out. We’re also continuing to support the tireless work sports clubs put into involving parents in their safeguarding process.
“We’ve come a long way in the past five years and there’s a clear impact on parents when it comes to their knowledge of safeguarding in sport. But we can’t stop here, every parent should feel confident about ensuring their child is safe and having fun and that’s why we’re pleased to launch our free, short, interactive course for parents.”