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27 Sep 2023 147

UK Coaching welcomes Sport England's announcement to introduce a network of Sport Welfare Officers

Introduction of a national network of full-time Sport Welfare Officers set to bolster safeguarding measures in sport and physical activity.

This commitment comes from Sport England’s ‘Safeguarding Collective’ working group, of which UK Coaching plays an integral role, and exists to ensure that everyone involved in physical activity and sport is supported to deliver fantastic experiences for their participants.

UK Coaching is here for the coach and offers training to support Club Welfare Officers (available here). However, this announcement will see another level of support added for community clubs – something we very much welcome.

Heather Douglas, Head of Coaching & Policy, said: “All community clubs should have a designated Club Welfare Officer in place but it can be a challenging role and is almost always delivered on a voluntary basis. The introduction of a national network of full-time Sport Welfare Officers will therefore create another layer of safety and support to these Club Welfare Officers who provide such a valuable service within their community. 

“These new officers will play an independent and critical role to support the entire safeguarding network and will be there for coaches, Club Welfare Officers, parents and participants to turn to whenever required.”

This commitment by Sport England also supports the movement towards child-first coaching and our Play Their Way campaign which seeks to prioritise children’s voices, rights and needs in the way they are coached and in their sporting experiences.

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