Fresh safeguards in place for children in sport

A SERVICE aimed at protecting children from abuse when they take part in sport has been rebranded with a new website, in an attempt to raise awareness about the help available.

Child Protection in Sport, which is run by Children 1st and SportScotland, is changing its name to Safeguarding in Sport.

The initiative aims to provide sports governing bodies, leisure departments and clubs - and in particular coaches and leaders - with additional information and advice about the overall welfare of children, rather than just encouraging the reporting of suspected abuse.

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Anne Houston, chief executive of Children 1st, said: "We have a vision of children growing up safe, secure and happy. Safeguarding in Sport works with organisations to try and make this vision a reality.

"Originally this service was set up to ensure that organisations understood their child protection duties.

"Over the years the sporting community has worked hard to put children's welfare at the heart of everything they do. 'Safeguarding' is more than just 'protecting' - it's much more positive and preventative. The change in name to Safeguarding in Sport reflects this."

Public health and sport minister Shona Robison said: "With the baton being handed to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games it's vital that the children and young people of Scotland are fully able to participate in sport in a safe and welcoming environment and enjoy the benefits it can bring."

Stewart Harris, chief executive of SportScotland, said: "We are dedicated to giving children every opportunity to engage with sport, and we want to ensure that participation is a positive experience.

"The support provided by Safeguarding in Sport is vital in ensuring that every child taking part in sport is able to do so in a safe environment; which allows them to take advantage of the benefits that sport can offer."

Research has shown that youngsters who train to compete at the highest levels are the greatest risk of being emotionally abused by their coach.