Liverpool FC has backed an NSPCC campaign to raise awareness of safeguarding standards in UK sports clubs and improve safety measures.
New research by YouGov found that less than four in 10 parents actively sought to understand the safeguarding procedures of their local sports/leisure clubs before signing their child up to take part in practice sessions, matches and competitions.
An online YouGov survey, conducted on behalf of the NSPCC, showed that 38 per cent of parents actively tried to find out whether basic safety measures were in place before allowing their child to join a club.
Meanwhile, 38 per cent of parents said they had either never received or could not recall whether they had been sent any information about safeguarding measures by their child’s sports/leisure club once they were a member.
Tackling these issues and encouraging positive parental involvement in youth sports is the aim of the NSPCC’s ‘Parents In Sport Week’, which launches today.
Liverpool FC is joined by Everton FC, former British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton and sports presenter Charlie Webster in supporting the annual event, which also calls on parents to make ‘The Sports Parents Promise’ - an online commitment which helps them choose a safer club for their children.
‘The Sports Parents Promise’ also encourages parents to be a positive influence when watching their child’s games from the sidelines.
John Pout, director of safeguarding at Liverpool FC, said: “Sports participation has a hugely positive impact on children and young people, and we get to see that first-hand every day.
“Liverpool, like other teams across the country, have safeguarding policies and procedures in place to ensure that all young people taking part in sport can thrive in a safe, fun and inclusive environment.
“An important part of providing this positive environment involves ensuring that parents understand what safeguarding is, and where to turn if they have a safeguarding concern. We are very happy to support the NSPCC’s ‘Parents in Sport Week’, and encourage all parents to make the ‘Sports Parents Promise’, which will help them find out more about how they can support their children.”
Michelle North, director of the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit, said: “Sport is a huge part of childhood with many young people spending countless happy hours practicing and playing and making new friends.
“Checking on a clubs’ safeguarding procedures before signing up will give parents the peace of mind that their child is in a safe and secure environment.
“That’s why we’re encouraging parents and sports clubs across the country to make our ‘Sports Parents Promise’, because it’s essential that everyone plays their part in protecting children and help make every sporting experience a positive one.”
Every sports club and activity provider should have a welfare or safeguarding officer as well as a safeguarding policy and the NSPCC is encouraging every parent to find out who to contact in their children’s sport if they have any questions or concerns.
To find out more about the NSPCC and ‘Parents In Sport Week’, click here.