Everyone involved in sport and active recreation at any level should feel confident the activities in which they participate in are safe, fair, free from discrimination, abuse and other harmful behaviours. This is particularly important for young people.
This is a complex space and one that requires a broad range of initiatives. There are a lot of factors that can threaten the integrity of sport and make it less safe, less fun and less fair for young people. Issues like child protection, avoiding harassment, match-fixing and dealing with complaints aren’t just for club administrators or national bodies – they’re things everyone working with young people in sport should know about.
Sport is run by passionate volunteers who want to protect the interests of those taking part. We need to ensure that we’re supporting the sector to create safe and inclusive environments by helping to build awareness and capability at all levels. That’s why Sport NZ has created a community guidance portal which features information, policy and procedure templates to support you in dealing with all matters of integrity. These resources are free of charge to anyone at any level involved in sport and active recreation, including parents, caregivers, whānau, coaches, administrators and participants.
In addition to guidance and resources on child protection, member protection, equity and inclusion and organisational culture, the portal also includes eLearning modules relating to inclusion, child protection and competition manipulation, as well as new child safeguarding policies and procedures and member protection policies.
It is vital that we protect wellbeing and safety of children and young people in sport and recreation and in all other aspects of their lives. That includes knowing how to identify the signs of potential abuse and neglect and know what to do about it. Sport NZ’s eLearning module on child protection in play, active recreation and sport is based on an existing proven module from Safeguarding Children and adapted to be more specific to play, active recreation and sport. It is designed to give learners the tools to recognise, respond, report and record signs of potential abuse and neglect. This is an essential responsibility of anyone coming into contact with tamariki and rangatahi in the sector.
Sport NZ is encouraging everyone involved in the sector to visit the community guidance portal and check out the eLearning modules and other resources on offer to learn more about how you can contribute to a safe and inclusive sport and recreation environment.
Click on the links below to find out more:
We will continue to develop more resources over time to create even more ways to help everyone play their part in keeping sport fun, safe and inclusive for all.
Image credit: Photosport