Let’s work together to keep sport safe for everyone

  • Integrity Blog

Child safety must be embedded in every Australian sporting organisation’s culture and understood and implemented at all levels of the sport, says Sport Integrity Australia’s CEO David Sharpe.

“At Sport Integrity Australia we are committed to Australian sport environments that are safe, supportive and friendly for children and young people,” Mr Sharpe says. “National Child Protection Week is a timely reminder that we all have a role to play to help keep our children and young athletes safe.”

Mr Sharpe encourages parents and carers of a child who participates in sport to ask your club questions about the safeguarding measures they have in place to keep your child safe.

“Questions such as ‘Do all of the coaches have Working With Children Checks?’ or ‘Is my child’s coach accredited?’ can assist parents to see that their child’s sport is following basic child safeguarding procedures,” he says.

He also encourages parents to talk about safety with your children.

“Make plans about what to do if they feel unsafe. Ensure your child knows who they can talk to if they don’t feel safe in their sport.”

If you suspect a child or young person is in immediate risk of harm, call Police on 000, and/or your state’s respective child protection helpline.

What else can you do?

If you are a coach: Make sure you are aware of and comply with your Sporting Organisation’s Child Safeguarding Policy and requirements.

If you are a parent: Ask questions of your child’s club to make sure they have adequate child safeguarding policies and procedures in place.

If you are a child or young person: Know your rights and what to do if you don’t feel safe.

If you are a Sporting Organisation: Make sure you have adequate policies and procedures in place to protect everyone in sport. Has your NSO signed up to the National Integrity Framework? https://www.sportintegrity.gov.au/what-we-do/national-integrity-framework

Do your bit to protect our children and the sport.

** Sport Integrity Australia is the peak Commonwealth agency which assists National Sporting Organisations to implement child safeguarding policy and framework, working closely with the National Office for Child Safety to develop resources for Sports to keep children protected from all types of harm.