Sport and physical activities often place individuals in a position of significant influence over other people. A high level of trust is placed on such individuals by parents, carers and the participants themselves. In most cases, that level of trust is more than repaid through the commitment, dedication and selflessness of people involved in organising and delivering sports and activities, but occasionally that trust can be abused. All organisations and individuals involved in sport should be aware of the risks and act promptly to deal with any concern.

Here in Essex, we strive to make sure that every child has a positive experience when participating in sport, physical and extra-curricular activities. Everyone has a role to play in keeping others safe and people should know how to spot the signs of child exploitation and what to do if they have any concerns. Safeguarding must remain a priority for all those who run, book, manage and oversee sports and extra-curricular clubs and activities.

To launch ‘Safe to Play’, we will be hosting an event on Tuesday 29th November at Chelmsford Racecourse, to build upon this new, innovative safeguarding in sport campaign started by the NWG. Reflecting and having conversations on how to adopt the messaging throughout our county.

The event will see a range of talks and breakout rooms planned, to ensure we embed this campaign and message throughout our sector, because it’s time to get comfortable about safeguarding.

Registration has closed but if you would like to join please email

Over the next year, we will be working with a range of partners, community organisations and key services to raise awareness of safeguarding in sport and to ensure the campaign is fully embedded across sport and physical activity providers in Essex. Safe to Play uses augmented reality technology to help keep those involved in sport, safe and with funding from Sport England, the NWG has created FREE pocket-sized cards for local sport and physical activity clubs and coaches, to distribute to their members, players, parents and guardians.

These cards, when scanned using a camera of a smartphone or tablet, will act as pocket reminders by calling up a range of engaging digital resources, including dramatized videos telling one family’s story of abuse in sport, video guides on how to identify the signs of abuse, top tips on how to stay safe in sport, and questions to ask when selecting a club or coach. The downloadable resources can be found here.

Check out our useful links here

See The Signs

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NWG Network

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Sport England

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The Child Protection in Sport Unit

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Ann Craft Trust

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