Safeguarding and protecting children in sport

What parents should look for when choosing a good sports club or activity for their child

Here are the key points you should check out when choosing a sports club or activity for your child.

Policies and procedures

Does the organisation have a safeguarding policy to help protect your child?

Sports clubs and organisations should have a safeguarding policy, with a clear procedure for dealing with poor practice concerns or risks of abuse. You should be advised how you can access the policy.

If you or your child have any worries, who can you talk to?

Every organisation should have a named welfare officer and promote their contact details. Well-run clubs should be prepared to listen and advise you what to do if you have any concerns. They should have information about local or national services that can also offer advice and support.

Does the organisation have a written code of behaviour or code of conduct?

There should be a written code of behaviour (or conduct) showing what is required of staff, volunteers and participants (including children). Avoid organisations that do not have a commitment to address bullying, shouting, racism, sexism or any other kind of oppressive behaviour. Any unacceptable behaviour should be challenged and dealt with in a professional manner by the sports organisation.

What boundaries exist concerning club relationships?

The club should have clear guidelines about appropriate relationships and social activities between staff, volunteers, participating young people, and parents. Find out who in the club you can speak to if you have concerns about boundaries not being observed.

For further advice, visit the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) website, or email

If you have any concerns or worries, you can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 or

email for further advice.