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Safeguarding in Sports

Safeguarding in Sports

Scope of this chapter


This chapter is reproduced by kind permission of Northamptonshire SCP.

If you run an organisation which provides sport activities for children and young people, it is essential that you have the correct safeguarding policies and procedures in place. It is also important that your staff (paid or voluntary) know what their responsibilities are with regards to the safety and welfare of children and what to do should they be concerned about a child within their care. Having the correct policies and procedures in place to safeguard children and young people shows that your organisation/group takes safeguarding seriously.

Why should you have safeguarding procedures in place?

In England the law states that people who work with children and young people have a duty to keep them safe. This legislation is set out in The Children Act 2004. There is also further guidance in the Government document Working Together to Safeguard Children.

Guidance for Clubs

The following list of guidance and links will help you create a safeguarding pack for your sports club:

  • Safeguarding Checklist - This checklist is a guide to the policies, procedures and practices you should have in place to maximise safeguarding efforts in sport;
  • Guidance for Safe Recruitment, Selection and Retention for Staff and Volunteers Procedure - This briefing provides organisations with guidance on developing effective recruitment and selection procedures. This will ensure that staff and volunteers have clearly defined roles and responsibilities, which will have a positive impact on children;
  • Disclosure and Barring Service - Provides information on getting a criminal record check, the DBS update service and all the latest updates on changes to the service, including applicant only disclosures;
  • Reporting Concerns - If you have any concerns about a child or young person in a sports setting you should contact  The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) for your local area. Contact details can be found here;
  • Managing Allegations of Abuse Made Against Adults Who Work with Children and Young People Procedure - The working Designated Officer (formerly LADO) should be alerted to all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:
    • Behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child;
    • Possibly committed a criminal offence against children, or related to a child; or
    • Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he may pose a risk to children (Working Together to Safeguard Children).

Further information and support is also available from:

Last Updated: January 8, 2024