Walsall FC players donned green NSPCC t-shirts for the pre-match warm against Shrewsbury Town m to show their support for the NSPCC’s Parents in Sport Week.
The charity’s Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) is calling on parents to take a more active role in youth sports clubs to ensure their children are safe and enjoying what they are doing.
Parents in Sport Week is an annual campaign led by CPSU to encourage parents and sports clubs to work together to ensure children are properly protected and reach their full potential. It is also an opportunity for sports clubs to reach out to parents who may be less engaged and get them on board.
Parents play a pivotal role in encouraging and supporting their child’s participation, success and enjoyment when playing sport. The CPSU is also calling on them to check that all the safeguarding requirements of the youth sports club are being met in full.
Walsall winger Josh Ginnelly said: “I think it’s a great campaign – it’s important for kids to go and do things and meet new people.
“I always look back and think I had an amazing childhood and I would advise parents to get their kids out of the house.
“It’s massively important that sports clubs are a safe environment – you don’t want your kids in any danger at all.”
Anne Tiivas, Service Head at the CPSU, explained: “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 Parents in Sport Week, parents are being 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. Advice is available on the CPSU website to support parents in this.
To lend their support, sports clubs can:
- 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 our 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 Parents in Sport Week, and for downloadable resources for both parents and clubs, visit the CPSU website.