Providing protection for athletes in the modern sporting environment

The football world presently finds itself in a place of real catastrophe. The recent revelations have brought to the attention of the world the increasing concerns over the protection of minors within sports. In addition, it has emphasised the apparent lack of control that the authorities have over young athlete and pastoral care. Parents have placed their trust in those who they believe have their child’s best interests at heart and it is now right that this lack of control regarding duty of care is questioned.

Given all the attention being placed on your child’s talent and the attention that it receives it is easy to have the belief that all will be well with the development process, especially in professional clubs. It will be won’t it? Surely such beliefs do not exceed expectation? Well given the recent revelations it could be stated that they are indeed a step too far at the present!

So how can parents take control of protecting their child and feel sure that appropriate duty of care is in process? Clubs are required by the process of the EPPP to ensure appropriate standards of the duty of care process are in place for their audit and categorisation process. Parents can ensure that they:

  • Receive regular information when induction evenings for parents are to take place.
  • Are aware in writing of the procedures for child protection in their child’s club.
  • That they are informed as to who the Children’s Services Officer is at the club.
  • What the process is at the football club should parents or players have concerns.
  • Are aware when parent’s evenings are scheduled and the information that they can expect to receive at these meetings.
  • Are aware of all procedures with regards to participation in training, organised fixtures and travelling arrangements for fixtures.
  • Understand the arrangements for attendance at physiotherapy sessions and the club’s modus operandum for reporting treatment procedures.
  • Understand the need to ensure that the club keeps them and their child updated in any changes to the usual routine.

There may be other questions that parents can be inquisitive of. Should they wish, parents can approach the Players Trust to provide advice for parents unsure as to any means of the process of duty of care for their child and can offer advice that is appropriate and relevant to the requirements of the EPPP.