The importance of Safeguarding in the martial arts
Safeguarding should be a top priority for all those involved in all sport, whether a club, organisation, an individual or as a parent. This is why Sport England have brought leading bodies from Safeguarding together with the Martial Arts sector to launch the Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts.
The Safeguarding Code gives everyone an opportunity to work towards earning recognition that shows they have reached and maintained excellent safeguarding standards. By attaining the Safeguarding Code ‘mark’, all clubs and instructors can demonstrate that they are actively working to protect the children, young people and adults that are involved in their activities - as well as their own coaches and instructors.
The mark demonstrates that quality safeguarding processes and practices are in place. The mark also helps participants, parents and carers in their decision of where to go to get involved in Martial Arts.
Clubs and individual instructors that meet the specific standards of the Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts will be able to display the Safeguarding Code mark on all marketing literature, newsletters, website and social media pages, reassuring parents, carers and participants that they are fully committed to safeguarding at all levels.
The process is simple and there are lots of resources and template documents in place to support you through your submission. A checklist is available to download before you begin, outlining everything you will need to complete your submission so that you can collate it all before you return to demonstrate that you meet the Safeguarding Code’s standards.
In 2019, all martial arts clubs, organisations and individuals who have attained the Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts mark will also be published on a public facing database which will be set up to help give confidence to parents, carers and educational establishments when selecting a local club. Over 200 clubs, with an excess of 20,000 active members, have already registered for the Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts and are working towards achieving the mark.
Bryan Andrews, Head Coach of Shin Gi Tai Martial Arts Academy commented:
“Our success as a club is down to professional standards and ongoing professional development in coaching.
“We are pleased to have been awarded the Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts mark as validation for our continued work in promoting high quality Martial Arts that is underpinned with the principles of safeguarding and protecting participants. We view this Safeguarding Code as essential rather than desirable as it sets the minimum standards that all club should aspire to and be capable of reaching.”
This sentiment was echoed by Giovanni Soffietto, Lead Instructor of West Sussex Martial Arts
“Like many martial arts instructors, I understand that safeguarding is absolutely key. Everyone has the right to enjoy safe martial arts so any scheme that helps a club show they are explicitly compliant with best safeguarding practice, and that educates the wider public on the difference between safe martial arts Vs unregulated martial arts is nothing short of fantastic.
“As an instructor, I’m not only keen to ensure potential students and parents know we’re properly vetted, I also want to ensure I’m always up to speed on the best standards of safeguarding possible and this scheme helps with this.”
Registration is free and easy, and all Martial Arts clubs and instructors are encouraged to start working towards the Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts now by visiting www.safeguardingcode.com