Key Messages for Parents
If you are a parent there are a number of steps that you can take to ensure that your child feels protected and safe within their sporting environment. As a parent you have the right to check that the sports club that your child attends is safe and secure. It’s easy to find out more about the club or group, using the following checklist:
- Ensure the school or club has the relevant Safeguarding Policies (including overnight stays, code of conduct and photography, all of which can be found at the bottom of this page)
- Ensure there is a designated Club Welfare Officer (CWO) or Safeguarding Lead
- Check that the venue is safe and secure
- Find out what emergency procedures are in place
Questions you could ask include:
- Who is coaching your child?
- Do they have a valid DBS?
- Have they got certified Safeguarding and First Aid qualifications?
- Have you checked and challenged this person?
- Do they have CoachMark accreditation?
For a more comprehensive guide please view the CPSU’s information for parents.
A parent, teacher, Club Welfare/Child Protection Officer in your club, a school counsellor or nurse are all people you could turn to.
Child Line: 0800 1111 (This is a free and confidential helpline for young people)
You could also visit the NSPCC online advice service for young people at www.childline.org
Positive sport parents
We know that parents feel a lot of pride and protection over their children in sport and at times, can become emotionally involved. We do not dispute that parents only want the very best for their child, but we feel it is important to go through the true and proper Code of Conduct as provided by the CPSU.
Parents can help young people and play a big role in children achieving the best of their ability. Most of these include listening and talking to your child and understand why they play the sports they do.
- Positively reinforce your child, show an interest in their chosen activity
- Not place your child under pressure
- Not expect your child to like the sports you like. They should be free to choose the sport they want to play.
- Complete and return the registration, medical and consent forms pertaining to your child’s participation
Parents have the right to:
- Be assured that your child is safeguarded during their participation in sport
- Be informed of problems or concerns relating to your children
- Be informed if your child is injured
- Have your consent sought for issue such as trips or photography
‘Its our game, not yours’
The CPSU have developed a toolkit called ‘It’s our game, not yours’ which focuses around promoting positive parental behaviour in sport by using videos, research from children, presentations and many more useful resources that are available for all to use.
We want to make it clear that as a parent you have every right to question your school or club organisation to check that the correct procedures are in place. You have the right to know where and what you child is doing whilst in school and club sport. It is your right to know if your child feels protected, happy and safe.
It is also your right to check that the coach who is working with your child has the correct and authentic Safeguarding, First Aid and sport related qualifications. We want you to feel comfortable to be able to ask about anything that you are concerned about.
The CPSU website has more information and advice about parenting in sport.
Photography and filming
We understand that you as parents love to take photos of your children playing sport, but we must ensure we are safe with our images. Photography in sport has always been a difficult topic. Photos and videos are great for celebrating and promoting young people’s involvement in sport, and in more modern cases has and continues to be used in classrooms for learning.
When at sporting events we must remember that views vary and parents may provide different responses regarding photographic consent. We believe it is entirely your decision whether you are happy to provide consent, or not, but urge parents to check with the relevant organisers at an event to ensure you have permission to snap away.
The CPSU website has more information for parents who wish to photograph their children.
Below are some additional documents which give information about the use of ICT, the management of challenging behaviour and promoting mental wellbeing through sport.