Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
All sports authorities need to be aware of the problem of child abuse and have guidelines to ensure that such problems are minimised
In recent times, we have seen widespread publicity given to domestic child abuse in the lay press, and there is every reason to suspect that sport is not immune from this problem. In Australia for example, a well known international cricket umpire was recently jailed for child sex allegations made when he was a schoolteacher. In 2001, a UK based tennis coach was jailed for seven years (with a further five years under licence) for child abuse, and, in America, a number of junior baseball and football coaches have been jailed for similar offences.1
As sports medicine professionals and parents, we have a duty to ensure that children participating in sport do so in an environment that is both enjoyable and safe. The very nature of sporting events means that athletic children are potentially at risk from such activities—sports clothing is often “minimal”, showers and changing rooms are places where adults can mix with children, and children may be entrusted to the care of adults about whom the parents know very little. Organisations need to have procedures in place to prevent paedophiles or other undesirable people becoming involved with officiating, coaching, or supervising children and also have guidelines that enable young people to seek help and/or support on a confidential basis for any issue relating to child protection.
Child protection is not just about protecting children, it is also about ensuring coaches and officials are not the subject of unwarranted or malicious accusations.
In Great Britain, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has been running a child protection programme since January 1997, and all the information provided in this paper relates to the experience gained …