Developing Multi-Agency Sport Safeguarding in Wales

The Latest From Our Safeguarding Adults in Sport Manager for Wales

If you would like to read this blog in Welsh, please click here

It’s been a while since my last blog in June where I updated everyone on the new Sport Wales strategy,

I have been quite busy since, working hard at developing the Welsh Sport Safeguarding Hub alongside my colleagues Laura Whapham and Cerri Dando from the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit.

We have all seen some of the recent headlines regarding abuse within sport. Many of the enquiries that have hit the papers relate to historical abuse of children and adults within a sporting environment. In some of these enquiries, opportunities to safeguard others may have been missed, with apparent lack of information sharing and joint working to manage risk and prevent abuse.

Sport provides opportunities for everyone, whether as player, coach, supporter or any other role. There are wonderful experiences to be enjoyed where we can significantly enhance our physical and mental wellbeing. These experiences can be significantly enhanced if sport provides safe, supportive and encouraging environments.

My role and that perhaps of every sport safeguarding officer is to help create those safe and supportive environments where people can have every opportunity to flourish within their own sporting situation. Working towards this, the Welsh Sport Safeguarding Hub has agreed the following objectives:

  • Advice – To provide safeguarding advice and guidance to organisations and individuals, and in particular to Sport National Governing Bodies regarding children and adults at risk in sport.
  • Awareness – To raise the profile of safeguarding with the sport sector and with statutory agencies.
  • Standards – To work with Sports to achieve NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit and Ann Craft Trust Safeguarding Standards.
  • Signpost – To signpost agencies to lead safeguarding officers with sport.
  • Training – To build capability and capacity within the sector through partnership, shared learning, training and peer to peer support.

Sport National Governing Bodies can make a significant difference when working alongside statutory agencies both in terms of supporting investigations with information, but also in managing risk or potential risk whilst enquiries are underway.

Laura Whapham and I met with the Dyfed Powys Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) Strategic Management Board this month, providing a presentation regarding The Hub and describing some of the benefits of joint working between sport NGBs and statutory agencies. This was warmly received, and I am pleased to say that we have secured further inputs at the MAPPA SMBs for Gwent and North Wales in the coming months.

We will be circulating Safeguarding Hub posters in English and Welsh shortly. You can also download one here.

Further inputs have also been arranged with statutory partners elsewhere in Wales as we continue to demonstrate the benefits of collaboration and joint working to make sport as safe as it can be.

I would be happy to speak with any organisation, statutory, sporting or otherwise to discuss this ongoing work.

Please contact The Hub on 02920 334 975.

Free Safeguarding Adults in Sport Training

There are still a few places left for Welsh Sport NGBs to attend free Adults at Risk Training on the 5th September or the 7th October.