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Safeguarding children in sport and extra-curricular activities


Every child and young person has a right to have fun and enjoy taking part in activities without the risk of being harmed or abused.


Sports clubs and physical activity providers offer children an amazing experience which promotes their self-esteem, socialisation skills, plus emotional and physical development.  We also know that physical activity can be a great healer for those experiencing mental health challenges.  So, naturally we are keen for our children to start enjoying sport which we hope will last their lifetime.


When parents and carers choose their child’s school or college, they devote a lot of time reviewing OFSTED reports, asking parents and children who attend the educational setting for their lived experiences and continue to remain vigilant about their safety whilst attending.  Does the same level of due diligence get applied to sports clubs and physical activity providers?  Children are often taught the importance of not going off with strangers yet children are frequently left with sports coaches and staff in extra-curricular provisions without parents and carers checking key safeguarding measures are in place.


Sport and physical activities often place individuals in a position of significant influence over other people. A high level of trust is placed on such individuals by parents, carers and the participants themselves. In most cases that level of trust is more than repaid through the commitment, dedication and selflessness of people involved in organising and delivering sports and activities, but occasionally that trust can be abused. All organisations and individuals involved in sport should be aware of the risks and act promptly to deal with any concern. Safeguarding must remain a priority for all those who run, book, manage and oversee sports and extra-curricular clubs and activities.


Key documents


The Sheldon Report | non-recent child sexual abuse in football | CPSU news ( Published 17 March 2021


Working together to safeguard children - GOV.UK ( Updated in December 2020