Webinar: Safeguarding in sport – achieving earlier intervention

Feb 20, 2023
The expert panel will tackle actionable steps sports organisations can take to enhance their approach to safeguarding.

Nine in 10 victims of childhood sexual abuse in sports are abused by a coach or volunteer (IICSA), while just one in eight people will report offences.  

In the face of such statistics and with safeguarding failures all too common, organisations must accept their duty to adequately protect athletes and participants from abuse.  

With a safeguarding strategy that supports a culture of awareness, reporting and intervention, sports organisations can create opportunities to identify and disrupt ‘low-level’ concerns before they develop to prevent safeguarding failure – from individual cases to those of the scale of the US Gymnastics scandal.  

On April 4th, 2 PM BST, former Metropolitan Police Commander and head of Operation Yewtree, Peter Spindler moderates a panel of safeguarding experts and former youth player at Peterborough United and Child Sexual Abuse survivor, Dion Raitt. 

“Football was our lives, football was our dreams, football was all that mattered to us.”

In a Q&A with webinar panellist Anne Tiivas, OBE, Dion will share why he thinks it’s important for people to hear about his lived experience, the impact on his wellbeing and sporting career, and his experience of reporting and responses from sport and statutory agencies

Dion, today a PE teacher and football coach, will share insight into his passion for creating positive, open coaching environments for children in football and his direct contributions to making sport safer as an Ambassador for Offside Trust in Safeguarding Children in Sport

This panel will discuss actionable steps sports organisations can take to enhance their approach to safeguarding. Because the simple truth is, once abuse takes place, it’s already too late.  

Key topics covered will include: 

  • An introduction into the state of safeguarding in sport and across sectors and the evolving nature of threats 
  • How to increase confidence in reporting among athletes and participants, and navigating whistleblowing legislation  
  • How shared data and intelligencecan help to identify and disrupt ‘low-level’ threats before they develop 

Panellists include: 

  • Introduction: Clare Elford, Chief Executive Officer at Clue Software
  • Moderator: Peter Spindler, independent chair of the safeguarding boards at Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral, former Metropolitan Police Commander
  • Dion Raitt, former youth player at Peterborough United and Child Sexual Abuse survivor
  • Anne Tiivas OBE, Chair of Trustees for Safe Sport International, a global charity which seeks to improve the capacity of sports to safeguard athletes
  • Ann Stuart MBE, Safeguarding Officer for two major sports organisations 
  • Kath Bennett, Safeguarding Case Manager at a large sports national governing body, recent Post Graduate certified in Leading Culture Change in Safeguarding, and a Trustee with mental health charity Brave Mind

“Sport has such a positive impact on individuals, society and the economy. But sport’s vast benefits are wholly dependent on fostering and protecting safe, healthy, and inclusive environments where athletes and participants can flourish,” said Clue Head of Sport. Phil Suddick. 

“In many regards, the sports industry is failing to achieve this. There still exists naivety and complacency surrounding the need for effective and proactive safeguarding, and many organisations are unequipped to detect, manage and prevent the evolving risks. 

“Joined by safeguarding experts, including former youth footballer and child sexual abuse survivor, Dion Raitt, we hope to shatter this misconception, and share actionable advice on how organisations can leverage technology and data to better protect individuals from safeguarding risks.”

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