Posted on 04/10/2021 in Rhythmic
One in five parents wouldn’t know who to turn to for help if they had any welfare concerns in relation to their child’s sport or leisure clubs.
Scottish Gymnastics is backing a joint NSPCC and Children 1st campaign to raise awareness of where parents can turn if they have concerns about their child’s sports club.
An online survey*, conducted on behalf of the NSPCC by YouGov, has found that 20% of parents** who had children in sports and leisure clubs, would not know who to speak to if they had any worries about a child's welfare at the club.
Scottish Gymnastics is joined by Scottish Athletics and Netball Scotland in supporting Parents in Sport Week from 4 to 10 October. The annual campaign run by the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) and Children 1st, aims to equip every parent with the safeguarding knowledge they need, and highlight the important role parents play in youth sport.
Doc McKelvey, Scottish Gymnastics CEO, said: “Many sports around the world, including ours, have had cause to focus and self-reflect following complaints on different issues. Scottish Gymnastics fully supports this campaign which highlights how important parents and carers are in helping keep children and young people safe in sport.
Gymnast welfare is at the heart of everything we do, and wellbeing and protection is a priority in our clubs and programmes. We have embarked on a long-term project to ensure all our members, parents and carers know more about safeguarding and child protection, how to identify and raise concerns, and give them the confidence to do so. We are grateful to the NSPCC and Children 1st for helping raise awareness and empower parents.
Paul Stephenson, Senior Consultant at NSPCC’s CPSU, said: “We’re proud to be running our annual Parents in Sport Week campaign once again, alongside Children 1st, to help more parents be a significant part of their children’s sporting lives.
“Since launching the campaign five years ago, countless sports bodies, clubs and coaches have supported our work and worked hard to develop better relationships with parents and carers.
“This year, we want to provide the tools needed to help parents and carers access important information to help keep their children safe in sport, to spot poor practice and to empower them to speak out. We’re also continuing to support the tireless work sports clubs put into involving parents in their safeguarding process.
“Sport is a huge part of childhood, with many young people spending countless hours practicing, playing and making new friends, and it is so important that every parent feels confident about ensuring their child is safe and having fun.”
As part of the campaign the children’s charities have issued three key safeguarding tips for parents in relation to children’s sport:
• every club should have a safeguarding officer in post - familiarise yourself with who that is and their contact details
• check if your club has a safeguarding policy in place and understand how that keeps children safe
• know that the NSPCC helpline is there if you have any questions or concerns. You can reach the helpline on 0808 800 5000 or at email@example.com
The NSPCC has launched new resources to help parents understand their role in keeping children safe and who they can turn to for help if they have any worries about their child’s sport.
> Free e-learning course for parents on keeping their child safe
> Animation which helps parents identify when something might be wrong in their child’s sport
> NSPCC CPSU Parents Hub with online safeguarding information for parents
Parents who have any worries about their child’s experience in sport or physical activity can seek advice from the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
* All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Findings based on a YouGov online survey undertaken on 14 - 19 September 2021. 2,011 parents of children under 18 across the UK were surveyed, 910 of whom had signed a child up for a sports club. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
In the YouGov survey, parents were asked the following questions:
• Thinking about ALL of your child(ren) aged 18 and under. Are any of your child(ren) currently signed up to/ take part in, either by you or another guardian, any sports/ leisure clubs (e.g. a local football or gymnastics club, dance classes, etc.)?
• Thinking about ANY of the sports/ leisure clubs your child(ren) are currently signed up to/ take part in, which ONE, if either, of the following statements BEST applies to you? The question had the following options to answer: I would know who to speak to if I had any worries about a child's welfare at their club; I wouldn't know who to speak to if I had any worries about a child's welfare at their club; Don’t know; Prefer not to say.
• **Of the 910 who answered the second question, 15% answered ‘I wouldn't know who to speak to if I had any worries about a child's welfare at their club’, with 6% answering with ‘Don’t know’.