Safeguarding In Sport
Sport Northern Ireland (SNI) recognises its moral duty and legal obligation to protect children and vulnerable adults in sport through the creation and promotion of a safe environment which protects from abuse.
Sport has a power to be a positive influence on children and vulnerable young adults, providing the supporting structures and sporting environment places welfare first. Therefore Sport NI are working in partnership with the Child Protection in Sport Unit to encourage Sports Governing Bodies and clubs to implement the standards of practice outlined in Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport. By encouraging all sporting organisations to implement these Sport NI believe that everyone in children’s sport will benefit – children, parents/guardians and sports leaders. Sports organisations must recognise their “Duty to Care” within the activity they are organising. They must also realise that due to the often positive role sport plays in a child’s life they have a duty in recognising and responding to concerns that a child may be being harmed within another setting, such as the family home.
Often it is difficult to believe, or indeed accept, that child abuse happens in Northern Ireland and could occur in sport. The harsh reality is - it does! and the evidence to support this has attracted wide media attention over the years with few sports going unscathed or perhaps undetected. It is only more recently that sporting organisations or leisure facilities have seen the need to address this more directly. Please see
The Wider Picture
Children can be subjected to many forms of unacceptable treatment by adults or indeed by their own peers, which we may never consider being abuse, but none the less the impact of such ill treatment is wide-ranging and impossible to quantify. At a personal level, such ill treatment can completely destroy a child’s sense of worth attacking their self-confidence and self-esteem. At its worst some children can feel that their situation, which if it goes unchallenged, is so hopeless that suicide is their only option. Definitions of abuse;