All adults, regardless of age, ability or disability, gender, race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, marital or transgender status have the right to be protected from abuse and poor practice and to participate in sport and physical activity in an enjoyable and safe environment.
When looking for a new sports club or physical activity to take part in, it is important to make sure it is safe, accessible and suitable for yourself or the person you care for.
One step is to check whether the club or organisation you are thinking about attending has achieved an up-to-date sports body or local council accreditation (such as Clubmark).
If so, then this can be viewed as evidence that the club or organisation has attained a certain level of safe practices as assessed by the awarding body. The Club Matters portal provides a list of all Clubmark-accredited clubs and is a good starting point for finding a club.
Even if the club is accredited, it is still important to visit the club and take a look around first, and ask key questions. A well-run club or activity provider will welcome questions about their activities and policies.
Questions you might want to ask a new club or activity provider:
Do they have a have a Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures?
Clubs or organisations proving activities should have a safeguarding policy, this should include policies and procedures to protect adults who have care and support needs/who may be more at risk of abuse.
Who is the safeguarding officer / Club Welfare Officer?
The club should have a safeguarding or welfare officer in place and you should be provided with their contact details if you have any concerns.
Are DBS checks obtained for coaches and volunteers?
If you, or the person you care for, has any special needs or medical requirements, you could ask if staff have had any appropriate training to support people with specific needs, or if suitable adaptations could be made.
For further advice on Safeguarding Adults visit: