Calling all parents in sport

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From washing kits to driving the taxi of mum and dad, parents are vital to youth sport and Parents in Sport Week is all about celebrating them. 

For the past four years the NSPCC and it Child protection in Sport Unit have delivered our annual Parents in Sport Week campaign, which  aims to ensure parents have access too the right, resources tools and information to feel  confident their children  can enjoy sport safely. 

Our activity is designed to bring parents from all sports together to improve their understanding of the important role they can play in keeping sport safe for all children. We want to  empower parents with the confidence, knowledge and tools they need to identify and report concerns in their child's sport.

Everyone has a part to play when it comes to keeping children safe in sport. Parents can support clubs, coaches and safeguarding leads to keep their child’s sport fun and safe by:

  • understanding how to spot abuse
  • knowing how to speak out when something is wrong – like speaking to the NSPCC Helpline
  • supporting children’s mental and physical wellbeing both at home and in their sport
  • playing a positive role in their child’s sport.

Whatever your worry, get advice and support from our helpline

How can I get involved?

 

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  • Take our free 10-minute eLearning course that covers knowing when something is wrong, poor practice vs. abuse in sport, recognising the signs, listening to children and speaking out in sport.   
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  • Find out more about keeping children safe in sport by visiting the CPSU Parent hub

  • Start a conversation about safeguarding with your child’s coach or club. What procedures do they have in place and who’s their club welfare officer?

  • Hear stories from the parents of some UK’s best sporting talent and how they support their children in getting to the top of their game, by watching our Trailblazers event on demand

  • Join the conversation on social media using #ParentsinSportWeek and share our animation with other parents.

  • Sign up for more tips and advice

We're here to help​

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As a charity with over 130 years’ experience, one thing we know for sure is it’s never too soon to speak out when a child needs help. Whatever it is you’re worried about, call our helpline. the dedicated NSPCC child protection specialist you talk to will know what to do next, and will take any necessary action.​

It doesn’t have to be an emergency. In fact, each day roughly half of all the calls and messages taken by our friendly team are for guidance and support across a huge range of issues affecting children – like parent or adult behaviour, neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse and contact sexual abuse.​

In the animation below, we’ll show you an example of what emotional abuse in sport could look like and you can access support form our Helpline or your child’s club.

£5 could pay for our helpline to answer one call for help 

Top tips for parents

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Listen

It’s normal for children to feel disappointed if things haven’t gone well but a sudden change in feelings about a sport they once enjoyed can be a sign that something’s not right. It’s important your child can talk things through with you.

Listen

These are some of the common signs that something might be wrong. A child could start:

  • becoming withdrawn or not wanting to take part
  • not wanting to talk about their sport anymore
  • increased worries about improving or winning
  • suddenly or drastically changing eating habits
  • monitoring their weight excessively or overtraining
  • having increased or secretive contact with an adult or adults involved in their sport.

Find out more about how abuse can take place in sport on the Child Protection in Sport Unit’s Parent Hub.

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Speak out

Contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0800 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.ukIf you see or hear something in your child’s sport that makes you feel uncomfortable, speak out. Everyone has a role to play in keeping children safe in sport.

Every club should have a Club Welfare or Safeguarding Officer who you can speak to about any concerns you might have. A Club Welfare Officer’s role is to take care of children’s physical and mental wellbeing.

If you’re unsure about a concern, need advice or don’t feel comfortable raising it within the club, you can always contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0800 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk. The Helpline is a free service, can be used by anyone and can be anonymous.

Even if you’re not sure whether a concern needs further action, the Helpline can discuss any worries you might have and advise you on what to do next.

Find out how the NSPCC Helpline can help.

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Work together

All sports clubs and activities should have safeguarding policies and procedures in place to keep children safe. You can help to make sure your child's in a safe environment by asking their club questions about their policies and finding out more about their safeguarding process.

Clubs should have procedures in place for dealing with concerns and might ask you to refer to these when you raise them.

Their safeguarding policies and procedures are all part of the package you should receive when your child joins a club. If you haven’t seen them, or don’t remember receiving this information, ask.

Good clubs, venues and coaches shouldn’t mind you asking questions like these and it’s important that clubs and parents develop a relationship, where concerns can be raised and the lines of communication are kept open.

Find out more about what should be in place at your child’s club or activity.

Worried about a child?

Our helpline is available every day for adults who are worried about a child, to provide advice and support.

help@nspcc.org.uk

0808 800 5000

Report a concern