Safeguarding Netball – We’re making sport safer
The INF is involved in an initiative to make sport safer for children, and by doing so Safeguarding the future of Netball and all those who participate in it.
Joining the International Safeguarding Children in Sport Working group INF has been collaborating with more than fifty organisations around the globe to develop a set of standards to safeguard all children participating in sport.
Millions of children and young people take part in sporting activities across the world every day. Unfortunately, sport, as with other social domains, can bring risks such as violence and abuse towards children and youth. These risks can have a negative impact on individuals and development objectives and must be guarded against if the full positive power of sport is to be realised.
Only a few organisations involved in sport and sport for development globally have the systems and structures needed to make sport safer for children, and stakeholders are increasingly recognising that without deliberate efforts on the part of clubs and organisations, Federations, and policy makers, we cannot be confident that children will always have a safe experience in sport.
It is for this reason that INF has partnered with a diverse group of experts including UNICEF UK, UK Sport, Keeping Children Safe, NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit, Right to Play, WomenWin, Swiss Academy for Development, Commonwealth Secretariat, Beyond Sport and Comic Relief, to commit to making sport safer.
Brunel University were commissioned by the working group to review the standards at the end of the pilot process. These have now been published as the ‘International Safeguards for Children in Sport’
Liz Twyford from UNICEF UK described the safeguards as a set of actions that all organisations working in sport should have in place to ensure children are safe from harm and should be used as a benchmark of good practice to work towards, rather than an end in themselves. At present there are eight safeguards. These are:
- Developing your policy
- Procedures for responding to safeguarding concerns
- Advice and support
- Minimising risks to children
- Guidelines for behaviour
- Recruiting, training and communicating
- Working with partners
- Monitoring and evaluating
The focus on Safeguarding reinforces the INF Values as set out in the INF Netball 2020 Strategic Plan and supports our strategic pillar ‘Governing with Integrity’.
INF kicked off the process at a ‘Safeguarding Netball’ Seminar, run in conjunction with Safeguarding in Sport, CHILDREN 1ST, held for INF Members alongside the World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow 2013.
We have published guidelines for safeguarding and protecting children which set our our approach to safeguarding within netball and actively promote the implementation of these guidelines within our Members.
INF remains committed to working with our membership to promote safeguarding and the welfare of all our participants.