Safe to play campaign



Child abuse in sport has featured prominently in the media over the last year, football coach Barry Bennell was convicted after trial in July 2020 after abusing hundreds of children during his career as a football coach, the scale of his offending behavior is truly staggering and many of his victims are still struggling to cope in their adult life following this abuse. Recently many more former athletes have also been disclosing their abuse at the hands of coaches in a variety of other sports.

Safeguarding children and adults at risk is everyone’s business, NWG (formerly the National Working Group for sexually exploited children and young people) have launched the new Safe to Play campaign which has been designed specifically for the sports community to help raise awareness of how abuse can occur through sport. The campaign's efforts are aimed at parents, coaches and children in order to help them understand what to look out for and how to respond to concerns.


The Safe to Play campaign utilises Augmented Reality (AR)technology as a new method of engaging parents whose children play sport. NWG have produced a short campaign video featuring a family scenario around sport and three short vignettes from a child, a parent and a sports coach relating to the story. The videos are embedded in a small credit card sized resource that can be viewed using a smart phone or other digital technologies. The augmented realty card is packed with information that will help parents, coaches, and children to be able to keep safe in sport and you can also access the Stop-CSE website for links to more free to download and share sports resources, all from the comfort of your smart phone or tablet.


The campaign has had excellent feedback nationally from parents who value the unique nature of the technology and the ease of use and ability to view the resources with their children, they could relate to the central character Jamie who features in the video and felt more confident after using the AR card to raise concerns and just as importantly ask the right safeguarding questions about the club.


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