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New Online Course To Help Raise Awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation in Sport

New course launched to help raise awareness of abuse in grassroots sports.

A new CPD accredited online course, which tells the story of a teenage boy who is groomed by his coach, is being launched this week to raise awareness of abuse in grassroots sports. 

The low-cost course, aimed at parents, coaches and sport club volunteers, has been created by national child safeguarding charity NWG Network and funded by Sport England.

The 30-minute course is designed to provide an introduction to safeguarding issues for all those involved in sports at a local level and will be available for just £5.


The course, which has been developed in partnership with sporting clubs, includes a five-minute film about a 14-year-old boy who is exploited by his female coach. Participants will then be asked a series of questions to test what they have learned. 

The fictional story, which does not specify the individual sport, was developed by the charity based on the many and varied cases they have been involved in around abuse in sport.

It features the voices of those affected by such cases, including other sports club members and the child’s parents, in order to drive home important messages about the need for everyone to be vigilant to the potential for abuse in their own clubs.

Kevin Murphy, NWG Network’s Safeguarding in Sport lead, said: “The aim is to raise awareness and knowledge about abuse in sport among as many people as possible. It teaches vital information that could help save hundreds of children from abuse but that many clubs currently miss out on because they simply don’t have the time or the resources. Some of the bigger sports like football or tennis have national governing bodies, who are excellent at providing safeguarding training and information, but lots of smaller sports don’t have that kind of support and it’s something that can end up being easily overlooked. Often, they won’t have the funds or resources available to take part in expensive training courses. Many people involved in the clubs are volunteers and can’t afford to take time out to attend them. This course takes just 30 minutes, costs just £5 and can be completed in the comfort of your own home.”

Gordon Johnson, LCFA Designated Safeguarding Officer, added: “ Following on from the horrendous Historic Abuse allegations in football that that came to the fore in November 2016 and changes that continue to be implemented as a result,  I know that football is now one of the safest sports for children to participate in throughout the country. We do however need to remain vigilant, there are still predators out there. During 2019 our association was involved in the investigation and subsequent proceedings that have led to three separate cases from which grass roots football coaches are now serving custodial prison sentences and who will be banned for life from coaching involvement on their release from prison.”



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