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Safeguarding in Sports and Clubs

Safeguarding in Sport


Recent investigations into the Professional Footballers Association following historical allegations of child sexual abuse, has raised concerns over safeguarding of children and young people participating in sport.


In July 2016, Essex Safeguarding Children Board published guidance to parents on choosing activities, clubs or tuition.


The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) should be informed if you any have concerns where it is believed that a person working with children has;





In July 2016, Essex Safeguarding Children Board, alongside Active Essex and Essex County Council, published guidance to parents on choosing activities, clubs or tuition. Download it here.


This briefing by Tri.x provides a useful overview covering risk factors in sporting environments, what safeguarding arrangements organisations need to have in place and what professionals or volunteer staff working in the sporting environment need to be aware of. 




The NSPCC has launched a dedicated football hotline for victims of abuse, supported by the FA. The free helpline will be available 24 hours a day:

NSPCC Football Helpline: 0800 023 2642 


Child Protection in Sport Unit


The NSPCC also has a dedicated website of resources for safeguarding children in sport. These include:

Information for parents and carers – what to look for in a sports club


NSPCC Safeguarding Guide for the Voluntary and Community Sector

Are They Safe? A safeguarding guide for group leaders in the voluntary and community sector and a wallchart are available to download.


Sport specific resources


Sport is a terrific way for young people to develop their physical skills, team work and confidence. Thousands of people give up their time to coach and encourage youngsters, but occasionally incidents of grooming and abuse occur. Ensuring that children in sport are as safe as possible is much more rigorous than ever before.


Some schools hire out their facilities to community groups and this is an opportunity to make sure that people leading those teams have appropriate safeguarding procedures in place.  Below are links to the safeguarding pages of the governing bodies of many sports to help build awareness and learn from each other:


Safeguarding In Cricket 


Safeguarding in Football


Safeguarding in Gymnastics   


Safeguarding in Netball


Safeguarding in Rugby    


Safeguarding in Swimming


Safeguarding in Tennis