Safeguarding and Protecting Children in Sport

Thousands of children in Wales enjoy participating in sport and exercise every day.  

However, some young people have experienced abuse and/or poor practice linked to their participation. In addition, some children who are participating in sport may be experiencing abuse unrelated to the sport, either at home or within the wider community.

Substantial progress has been made in safeguarding children, but we can't be complacent in making sure children are safe when they are playing sport.

Coaches, volunteers and officials are in the privileged position of having an opportunity to build strong relationships with young people in their care and are therefore ideally placed to recognise signs that a child may be being abused.

This can be achieved by being alert to and aware of the risks which individual abusers, or potential abusers, may pose to children and being aware of and responding to any indicators that a child may be experiencing abuse.

NGB's should recognise the importance of ensuring there are procedures in place that outline the appropriate steps to take in the event of a concern. In addition, it is essential to ensure there are comprehensive policies and practical guidance that promotes the welfare of children and minimises any identifiable risks within the sports environment.

Child Protection in Sport Unit

Welsh sport has a close relationship with the NSPCC through the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU). 

The CPSU is commissioned by Sport Wales to work on a set of standards for NGBs in Wales, the Standards for Safeguarding and Protecting Children in and through Sport in Wales. As part of the process to work towards the standards, the CPSU work with governing bodies on aspects such as their safeguarding policies, action plans for communication with people taking part in their sport, and safeguarding education and training.

For more information on the Child Protection in Sport Unit visit 

Disclosure and Barring Service

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is a government service, which replaced the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks. It helps prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults. Processing requests for criminal records checks, it helps organisations like sports clubs make safer volunteer recruitment decisions.

More information on DBS checks is avaialble on the Club Solutions web resource:

Safeguarding at Clubs

Grassroots clubs, and other sporting organisations and activity providers, have a duty to protect children and keep them safe from harm. Having a child protection policy and club welfare officer are two of the aspects that clubs need to put in place.

For more information and tools to help, visit:

Reporting a concern

Should you have any concerns about the safety and well-being of a child, there are several options:

- If you think a child is in immediate danger of abuse, contact the police on 999.

- If there's no immediate danger and you're unsure of who to speak to, you can speak to your club or organisation designated child welfare/safeguarding officer, or call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 for immediate advice.