`

Sunderland running group backs NSPCC safety in sport campaign for children

Houghton Harriers are supporting the NSPCC.
Houghton Harriers are supporting the NSPCC.

Runners in Sunderland put their best feet forward to support a children’s charity.

Members of Houghton Harriers pulled on their running shoes to back a campaign by the NSPCC.

Clubs and parents need to work together

Michael Dickinson

The club joined the campaign, Parents in Sport Week, by calling on parents to take a more active role in youth sports clubs to ensure their children are safe while enjoying their activities.

The annual campaign, led by The NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit, encourages parents and sports clubs to work together to ensure children are properly protected and reach their full potential.

It is an opportunity for clubs to reach out to parents, who may be less engaged, and get them on board, since parents play a pivotal role in encouraging and supporting their child’s participation, success and enjoyment when playing sport.

Michael Dickinson, Houghton Harriers chairman, said: “We recognise that parents play an extremely important role in supporting their children take part in sports and we fully back the NSPCC’s campaign.

“Clubs and parents need to work together to involve children in sports and provide a safe environment for them to enjoy the activities and thrive.”

Anne Tiivas, head of service at the NSPCC’s CPSU, said: “We know parents play a critical role in youth sport. In fact, without parental support and involvement – from washing kits to the taxi of mum and dad – it’s likely that youth sport would cease to exist.

“We also know that without parents’ involvement in their child’s sport, children are less likely to achieve and sustain a lifelong interest in sport and adopt a healthy lifestyle.

“Parents in Sport Week is important because it encourages parents to make sure they are positively influencing their child’s involvement and wellbeing in sport and recognise their role in keeping them safe. It also encourages clubs to ensure they are engaging with parents.”

This year during Parents in Sport Week, which took place last week, parents were asked to:

*Ensure that sports clubs provide the information they need so they can make informed choices about the clubs or activities they send their child to;

*Look at their behaviour to make sure they are a positive influence;

*Check that all the safeguarding requirements of the youth sports club are being met in full.

And, to give their support to the campaign, clubs were asked to:

*Make sure they tell parents what they can do if they have a concern, such as calling the NSPCC helpline 0808 800 5000;

*Be open with parents about what their child needs from them in relation to their behaviour;

*Use NSPCC resources to engage with parents, help them to support their child and raise awareness of the impact positive parental involvement can have on youth sport.

For more information about child protection in sport, visit https://thecpsu.org.uk.