Sunday, August 7, 2022

Safety in sport non-negotiable: Safe Sport Day in focus


As LSDI joins the celebrations for Safe Sport Day, we take a little dive into safeguarding in sport, as the occasion presents a unique opportunity to raise awareness on safeguarding and general well-being of athletes in sport. 

In 2020, Safe Sport Day, which is marked on 8th August, was launched by the International Safeguards for Children in Sport Initiative, a coalition of more than 75 organisations working to make sport safer for children. The Initiative, which began in 2012, has been championing the cause of safeguarding in sport through numerous campaigns and advocacies. As a result of these efforts, many organizations around the globe have come to terms with the need to drastically improve the hitherto neglected yet most important aspect of sport - athlete safety.

The recent internationalisation of safeguarding in sport has made the issue increasingly significant for organisations working with children and young people. The International Safeguards for Children in Sport Initiative made this possible by developing the International Safeguards for Children in Sport. These safeguards, which were informed by research and diverse perspectives, set out measures that all sports organisations working with children should have in place to ensure children are safe from harm and abuse.

The safeguards include:
  • Developing your policy
  • Procedures for responding to safeguarding concerns
  • Advice and support
  • Minimising risks to children
  • Guidelines for behaviour
  • Recruiting, training and communicating
  • Working with partners
  • Monitoring and evaluating
While these safeguards present a framework to guide organizations, their impact is largely influenced by the extent to which they are interpreted and implemented. This further calls for a holistic and robust approach based on strong leadership and structure to successfully maximize these safeguarding measures.

Despite the proven health and social benefits of sport participation for athletes, such activity may be dangerous in an unhealthy sport culture where harassment and abuse is common. Every athlete, young and old, deserves to be safe regardless of which sport they choose to participate in. Any form of harassment and abuse in sport is one too many. As such, adequate safeguarding measures must be put in place to protect athletes, especially the young and vulnerable ones, at all times.

Having appropriate and relevant written policies and procedures in place and training those who engage children and adults in sport is very crucial. All participants, staff and volunteers must be aware of the organization's safeguarding procedures and trained in its safeguarding practices. Compliance with the policies and procedures is key.

Our Commitment

Sports in general are meant to be cherished and practised in a healthy and safe environment. This is why LSDI has embraced child safeguarding as an important aspect of sports development. The organization is committed to creating a positive and abuse-free culture around loofball as underpinned by its philosophy. In this spirit, LSDI encourages other sports organizations who are yet to Take The Pledge to do so while they commit to safeguarding in line with international standards and best practice.

Take The Pledge Today

Start your safeguarding journey today by Taking The Pledge here: https://bit.ly/3zLXMeK

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