Merseyside's Premier League teams back NSPCC safety in sport campaign - The Guide Liverpool

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Merseyside’s Premier League teams back NSPCC safety in sport campaign

04/10/2021

Merseyside’s two Premier League football clubs have again come together, with star players backing an NSPCC campaign which is raising awareness of where parents can turn if they have concerns at 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, wouldn’t know who to speak to if they had any worries about a child’s welfare at the club (including those who answered don’t know).

This is why Everton Football Club and the LFC Foundation are backing Parents in Sport Week (4-10 October 2021) – an annual campaign run by the NSPCCs Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU), aiming to equip EVERY parent with the safeguarding knowledge they need, and highlight the important role parents play in youth sport.

Liverpool’s James Milner – who is a longstanding ambassador for the NSPCC – and Everton Women’s Izzy Christiansen have both contributed to a special video promoting this year’s campaign, and both clubs will be supporting Parents In Sport Week through their official social media channels.

Matt Parish, chief executive, LFC Foundation, said:

“We are proud to be supporting our partner NSPCC with their Parents in Sport Week campaign and it’s fantastic to see James using his profile to help raise awareness of the campaign and reach more parents and families.

“Safeguarding is such an important aspect of sport, and by empowering parents with the knowledge they need to spot the signs of abuse, we can work together to help make sport a safer place for children and young people.”

Paul Cuthbert, Everton’s Head of Safeguarding, said:

“Sports and exercise can have a hugely positive impact on children and young people, and that’s something to be encouraged after the difficulties they’ve faced over the last 18 months.

“Like all teams across the country, we 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. We are very happy to support the NSPCC’s Parents In Sport Week, as one of the most important parts of providing a positive environment is ensuring that parents and carers understand what safeguarding is, and where to turn if they have any safeguarding concerns.”

As part of the campaign the charity has issued three key safeguarding tips for parents in relation to children’s sport:

  • Every sport club should have a child welfare officer in post – familiarise yourself with who that is and their contact details;
  • Check if your sport 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 protected]

This year, the CPSU has also launched special new resources aimed at parents, to help them 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.

Resources include a free e-learning course for parents on keeping their child safe; a new animation which helps parents identify when something might be wrong in their child’s sport; and the new NSPCC CPSU Parents Hub – an online destination packed full of safeguarding information for parents.

The NSPCC’s Child Protection In Sport Unit was founded in 2001 in response to a series of high-profile cases of abuse of young athletes. Since then, the unit has worked closely with hundreds of governing bodies of sports and local partnerships to provide safeguarding guidance and embed safeguarding best practice in sport.

The campaign comes in a year of high profile concerns about abuse in sport including gymnastics, football and athletics. The NSPCC wants to encourage parents with a child in any sport to seek advice from its Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or emailing [email protected] if they have any worries about their child’s experience in sport or physical activity.

“We’re proud to be running our annual Parents in Sport Week in its sixth year to help more parents be a significant part of their children’s sporting lives and to help ensure their experience is safe and fun. Every year since the campaign’s conception countless sports bodies, clubs and coaches have supported our aims and worked hard to develop better relationships with parents and carers.

“This year, the NSPCC wants to provide the tools needed to help parents and carers access important information to 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.

“We’ve come a long way in the past five years and there’s a clear impact on parents when it comes to their knowledge of safeguarding in sport. But we can’t stop here, every parent should feel confident about ensuring their child is safe and having fun and that’s why we’re pleased to launch our free, short, interactive course for parents.”

Visit the NSPCC website here.

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