New online course to help grassroots sport coaches tackle child sexual exploitation

Parents, coaches and sport club volunteers are being supported to spot and guard against child sexual exploitation through a low cost course created by national child safeguarding charity NWG Network and funded by Sport England.

The 30-minute course is designed to provide an introduction to safeguarding issues for all those involved in sports at a local level and will be available for just £5. The course available here

Kevin Murphy, NWG Network’s Safeguarding in Sport lead, said: “The aim is to raise awareness and knowledge about abuse in sport among as many people as possible. It teaches vital information that could help save hundreds of children from abuse but that many clubs currently miss out on because they simply don’t have the time or the resources.

“Some of the bigger sports like football or tennis have national governing bodies, who provide safeguarding training and information, but lots of smaller sports don’t have that kind of support and it’s something that can end up being easily overlooked.

“Often they won’t have the funds or resources available to take part in expensive training courses. Many people involved in the clubs are volunteers and can’t afford to take time out to attend them. This course takes just 30 minutes, costs just £5 and can be done in the comfort of your own home.”

The course, which has been developed in partnership with sports clubs, includes a five-minute film about a 14-year-old boy who is exploited by his female coach. Participants will then be asked a series of questions to test what they have learned.

The fictional story, which does not specify the individual sport, was developed by the charity based on the many and varied cases they have been involved in around abuse in sport.

It features the voices of those affected by such cases, including other sports club members and the child’s parents, in order to drive home important messages about the need for everyone to be vigilant to the potential for abuse in their own clubs.

NWG Network are a national safeguarding charity, based in Derby. The charity has been funded by Sport England to produce a short film and online course which raises the awareness of CSE with coaches and volunteers, and others involved in sport, with a particular focus on those who may not be affiliated to a National Governing Body.

The new course is part of a two-year £470,000 Safeguarding in Sport project that they are being funded to deliver by Sport England.

Sports Coaches are expected to hold a Sports Governing Body Qualification, a first aid qualification and a recognised safeguarding and protecting children qualification (for example UK Coaching Safeguarding course). This training is not accredited and will not meet the safeguarding training requirements for a sports coach but it will be an excellent resource for CPD and to raise awareness of safeguarding and CSE with companies, leisure services and others involved in sport.

As part of this the charity is working with local authorities, police services and providers of sporting activity across the country to ensure there is a joined-up approach to tackling the problem of abuse in sport.

The course has been developed in partnership with specialist online training provider EduCare and is available on NWG Network’s website.