Child protection issues in sport
The issue of protecting children and vulnerable adults within sport is now of national significance. In 2004 government figures indicated that over 32,000 children in the UK were officially registered as being in need of protection from abuse; however, it is felt that there are thousands more unregistered. People who work with children on a regular basis may be able to provide an important link identifying a child who is at risk or is being harmed. With this in mind there are certain government legislations to govern this:
- For child welfare and protection - Children Act 1989 and 2004
- For criminal offences against children - Sexual Offences Act 2003
- In recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers - Protection of Children Act 1999 - The Police Act 1997 - Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000
- All of these are underpinned by the Human Rights Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Generally it is mostly teachers, parents and in the sports context coaches who will have the opportunity to work with children and be in a position of trust. With this in mind Sports Coach UK (ScUk) provide guidance for coaches to identify the issues regarding child protection.