What does Covid-19 mean for Safeguarding in Sport?

We have been surveying sports clubs and those participating in sport and activity to discover how Covid-19 has changed safeguarding in sport.

With sport and activity clubs closed and a move to online sport and activity sessions, safeguarding in sport has changed.

Reassuringly, 20% of sport and activity organisations have reported already amending their safeguarding policy to reflect changes in how sport and activity is delivered.

How can sport and activity organisations continue to safeguard participants?


  • Participants have reported still wanting to receive communication from their sport or activity club during the current crisis. It is important to reassure participants that there continues to be people available to support them.
  • Ensure all participants are aware of who their designated safeguarding lead or welfare officer is and how they can contact them during this time should they wish to discuss any concerns.
  • Check-in on participants via telephone or email to see how they are coping during the lockdown.
  • If you were worried about a participant prior to lockdown, contact them to see if they are okay.
  • Refer and report any safeguarding concerns. Safeguarding continues to be your responsibility.

Is safeguarding still relevant when conducting online activities?

Absolutely. Online safeguarding is often referred to as digital safeguarding. Clubs providing online activities need to be aware of the welfare and wellbeing of their participants when conducting activities online.

One club we have surveyed, shared that for each online sports session they have an instructor and a moderator who ensures the safety of participants throughout the session.

The moderator of your sessions could consider:

  • Protecting every online activity with a password to ensure only members are joining.
  • Enabling ‘waiting room’, to ensure everyone joining is ‘approved’ by the moderator to gain access to the session.
  • Avoiding using social media to share conference links, ensuring only members are joining your session.
  • Using privacy and confidentiality settings. For more information on different websites and platforms see NetAware.
  • Issuing codes of conducts for participants. This sets expectations for online sessions and can support in reducing incidents of cyber bullying.

Having a moderator as well as an instructor is an excellent example of prioritising wellbeing during online activities and relieves the pressure on the person delivering the activity.


Where can I find further information?


  • Attend our free online Sports Participation Forum on Monday 1 June. We will discuss possible safeguarding risks, whose responsibility it is to keep people safe, and examples of good practice.
  • Find out more about safeguarding your wellbeing during the pandemic
  • Read our guide produced with Club Matters to find out about safeguarding in sport during covid-19.
  • Share best practice or raise concerns by joining our #ACTSafeguardingHour on Twitter each Wednesday from 12-1pm. Simply tweet using the hashtag and we will respond!
  • Watch our video produced alongside Club Matters to find out more about safeguarding in sport.
  • Download our safeguarding adults policy and procedures document to support you in amending your safeguarding policy where relevant.
  • Learn more about online safety from the NSPCC.
  • Explore top tips about safeguarding children in sport from The Child Protection in Sport Unit.


Contact us.

The Ann Craft Trust continue to work remotely and deliver training online throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Please contact us if you need advice or have any concerns.