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Putting child welfare at the heart of sport

Sport England boosts funding to help more young people enjoy sport safely

Sport England has shown its commitment to putting children’s welfare at the heart of sport by increasing its investment in the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU).

The government agency will provide £1 million to the CPSU over the next two years, alongside the funding awarded to 46 different sports to help more people take part.

The CPSU is jointly-funded by Sport England, the NSPCC and the other home country sports councils and provides sports organisations with expert child protection advice and guidance.

This includes not only dealing with any abuse or exploitation that occurs within sport itself, but also ensuring staff and volunteers know what to do if a child discloses abuse to them, or if they spot unexplained bruises, or have other concerns about a child.

Sport England’s Director of Community Sport, Mike Diaper, said: “Everyone has a right to enjoy sport in a safe and friendly environment and the work of the Child Protection in Sport Unit is important in keeping young people safe from harm.”

Anne Tiivas, head of the Child Protection in Sport Unit, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding from Sport England, which will allow us to continue working to ensure sport leads the way in keeping children from harm.

“Since the CPSU was created in 2001, there has been a huge amount of progress made in protecting children in sport. However, there is still more that needs to be done to ensure that sport is the positive experience it should and can be for all children and young people who participate in it.

“The funding provided by Sport England will allow us to work with sports organisations to make this happen.”

Sport England’s investment will support the CPSU’s work with a wide range of sports organisations to ensure they are equipped to manage cases where safeguarding concerns have arisen.

This will include supporting a national panel to investigate and hear complex cases and providing tailored training and consultancy to support case management panels within individual sports governing bodies.

The funding will also allow the CPSU to continue its work helping organisations to address the safeguarding needs of particularly vulnerable groups, including elite athletes and deaf and disabled athletes.

The funding news comes after a year of success for the CPSU which alongside colleagues from the NSPCC, delivered training to staff and volunteers at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The CPSU also managed the safeguarding provision for the Sainsbury’s School Games which included events at the Olympic Park.

Other highlights for the CPSU in 2012 included:

* Supporting national governing bodies of sport and county sports partnerships to maintain and embed the Standards for Safeguarding and Protecting Children in Sport through a new framework
* Launching a new multi-media resource – Safeguarding Deaf and Disabled Children in Sport
* Contributing to two key sports conferences in July 2012: the annual Beyond Sport Summit and the International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport

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