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22 Sep 2021 67

Coaching and the Position of Trust

UK Coaching comment on Charlie Webster's BBC documentary Nowhere To Run: Abused By Our Coach.

I was saddened to watch the traumatic experiences faced by sports presenter Charlie Webster in her new BBC documentary.

Nothing is more important in physical activity and sport than the protection of the participant, and especially children and young people.
 
Abuse is simply not exceptable and should not be tolerated. It is vital that all coaches understand and act on their responsibilities to safeguard all participants.
 
As we learn of more historical examples of abuse, such as this, it highlights why the Positions of Trust law is right to include coaches as well as adults in other professions.

We are totally supportive of the NSPCC’s Close the Loophole campaign and backed the change in the law recommended in Baroness Grey Thompson’s review into the Duty of Care in Sport
 
This bill is currently being debated within Parliament, and its passing into law will be a positive step forward. Coaches hold a position of authority and when that role is abused, there must be consequences.
 
While it is essential that failings in coaching are called out, it is equally important that coaches are not all viewed in this negative light.
 
For the vast majority of the millions of people who regularly receive coaching in the UK, their experience is extremely positive, highly valued and vital for their physical and mental wellbeing.
 
Coaches who abide by our code, and the law, and keep themselves current through ongoing continued professional development , create healthy, positive environments for their participants to thrive.
 
Coaches play a crucial role in our communities and so we must recognise the work done by the majority of excellent coaches across the UK. We need to be more active, as a nation, than ever before and coaches provide so much positive benefit for people all over the UK.
 
I commend all those, who like Charlie, have been brave enough to speak out and share their stories in order to prevent others facing similar experiences and help us better protect all those who participate in physical activity and sport.

There is no place for abuse in sport, there is no excuse.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Gannon

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