Sport Integrity Framework: Child Protection

11 June 2019

Children need to be guaranteed a safe and enjoyable sporting experience, free from harm and encouraging of ongoing involvement in sport throughout their lives.

Protecting children from harm is abut being aware of the potential for harm in an activity and putting steps in place to remove or minimise that harm. Safe Sport for Children provides guidance to sport organisations as they manage the harm continuum within their sport.

Sport NZ subscribes to the child-centred approach meaning that the development needs and interests of children are catered for in the planning and provision of sports activities. The Good Practice Principles guide and educational videos have been designed to help organisations become more child-centred.

Sport NZ Group role

  • Advocate for improved child protection practices in New Zealand sport through provision of Child Protection Policy
  • Respond to specific requests for information and support
  • Child protection included as an element of the Community Coaching Plan implementation

Current status

  • Child Protection resources available at Sport NZ website
  • Community Sport work on Young People’s Plan has a key focus on child wellbeing

Sector partners

  • National Sport Organisations
  • Regional Sports Trusts
  • Community sport and rec organisations

Government Partners

  • Police (vetting and prosecution)
  • Ministry of Education
  • MSD
  • ACC

Other Partners

  • Child protection organisations such as Safe Kids

International Work

International focus is linked to the rights of the child, safeguarding children and the establishment of single-focus child protection in sport units (e.g. UK model). The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (which we have to report back against periodically) provides a focus for sport for development and peace work.InCanada there is a particular emphasis on educating parents of sports kids.

Gaps/Potential for further work

  • Sport NZ could be more actively engaged in promoting child protection in sport either in conjunction with new young people’s plan or separately
  • Question of whether the child protection guidance needs to be updated to cover emerging issues such as diversity as well as issues around filming and photographing children playing sport
  • Ongoing issues around side-line behaviour management and early specialisation that many in the sector are concerned by

Sport NZ Group position statement

The Sport NZ group believes that every child has the right to participate in a sporting environment that is safe and supportive, where they areencouraged to be the best they can be, can enjoy what they are doing and be free from any harm to ensure a lifelong love of sport.

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