It is essential to be aware of what to look for when selecting sports activities for your child to attend. The information below will help you to understand what the safeguarding requirements of sports clubs and organisations providing activities are, know what good practice looks like, and know the right questions to ask.
What Should I look for when Choosing and Activity or Club?
When looking for a new sports club or activity session for your child it’s important to first check whether the club or organisation 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, this will give you an opportunity to ask key questions. A well-run club or activity provider will welcome questions about their activities and policies.
You can have a conversation with the Club Welfare Officer. Their details will be available on the club’s website.
Suggested questions to ask
(based on information from the CPSU)
Have the staff been checked out?
The club/ organisation should have a safe recruitment policy for hiring staff, and be able to tell you what’s involved in this process. This includes appropriate references being obtained, and criminal record check (eg. DBS) being obtained.
Does your club have a safeguarding policy?
The club should have a policy in place that is available for you to read.
Ask the club how you can access and read the policy – it should ideally be on their website.
What happens if there is an accident?
Find out if there is a first aider at the club. The club should ask you for essential medical information for your child, and contact details in case of an emergency.
Who can you talk to?
Clubs should have a person responsible for safeguarding, usually known as the Club Welfare Officer. They should let you know who they are and how to contact them if you need to.
What training is there available?
The club can tell you what level of training their coaches have.
Coaches and volunteers should have access to appropriate safeguarding training.
The club / activity provider should ask for your consent for your child to participate, as well as permission to take photographs or videos.
Ensure you let the provider know of any disabilities or special requirements for your child and ask if staff have any appropriate training, or if adaptations can be made if necessary.
Child Protection in Sport have a range of advice and material aimed at parents to help them make sure children and young people can enjoy taking part in sport safely. This includes advice on spotting when there may be something to worry about, and reporting any concerns you have.
For further information visit the Parent’s Hub on the Child Protection in Sports Unit’s website: