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Tuesday 04 Oct 2022
Irish FA backs NSPCC’s sports safety campaign

The Irish Football Association is supporting the NSPCC charity’s Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week, which aims to empower parents to raise concerns about safeguarding in sport.

The week-long campaign, which was launched today, is offering advice and information to help parents to play a key role in helping to keep their children safe in sport. 

The campaign aims to provide parents and carers with the right knowledge and resources so they can make confident informed decisions when raising concerns with their child’s sport club. Advice tools and supporting information are available from the NSPCC and its Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU). 

Irish FA Safeguarding Manager Kevin Doyle said: “We are delighted to support NSPCC’s Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week and we are encouraging clubs to run events to engage openly with parents and share this via their own social media.”

To launch the special week NSPCC revealed the results of research carried out by YouGov on behalf of the children’s charity.

It found almost a fifth of parents (15%) surveyed across the UK are not confident they could spot the signs if their child was suffering sexual, physical or emotional abuse at their local sports club.

The research also showed one in 10 parents were not confident they knew how to raise concerns with their child’s sports club about their child’s safety. The figures were based on 1,000 parents of children aged 3-16 who attend sports clubs across the UK.

The NSPCC wants to ensure that all parents have the knowledge and confidence to raise safeguarding concerns. 

It was also revealed today that the number of contacts to the NSPCC Helpline from adults across the UK with safeguarding questions or concerns about children in a sports setting has almost doubled in the last five years.

Michelle North, Director of the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit, said: “For many of us, it was playing at our local grassroots sports clubs as children where we first encountered a deep lifelong love and passion for sport. 

“Every child and young person deserves to enjoy sport in an environment that is safe from abuse and harm and where they can play within a culture that advocates for their care and wellbeing.

“Parents and carers play a key role in keeping children safe in sport. This is why during the NSPCC’s Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week campaign we want to empower parents and carers with the knowledge, information and confidence needed to uphold child safeguarding.”

For more information about the campaign and to gain access to the supporting resources please visit: www.nspcc.org.uk/safeinsport

For the latest news from the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit, please follow @theCPSU on Twitter.

To support the NSPCC’s Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week on social media, follow the campaign using #SafeInSport