Norman Brook Raises Awareness in Western Province Athletics of Safeguarding Children in Sport
Children in South Africa are victims of child abuse (physical, emotional, sexual or neglect) or trafficking. 1 in 3 children will suffer sexual abuse and more than half will experience physical abuse. South Africa has one of the worst records in the world for child abuse.
Sport mirrors or reflects society, its virtues and vices, what happens in society also happens in sport. So if children are being abused in South African society it is safe to assume the abuse of children is prevalent in sport in South Africa.
Unlike many countries around the world where the safeguarding of children in sport has become a priority and a key component of good governance and integrity, little is being done in South Africa to forward this agenda.
We were deighted to be asked by Donny Jurgens and Western Province Athletics to conduct a session for their Team Managers on Implementing Safeguards for Children in Sport.
Using the UNICEF International Safeguards for Children in Sport the participants at the session:
recognised their legal and moral duty to safeguard children
identified the main forms of abuse and related poor practice in sport;
recognised the potential impact of not having safeguards in place;
reviewed the eight international safeguards and identified those safeguards that were or were not in place.
The red cards shown in the photograph above indicates that one of the eight safeguard was not in place. Although we had more red than amber or green cards, this was the first step in the process, raising awareness and helping Western Province Athletics identify what safeguards they are missing.
Much more needs to be done to develop Safe Sport in Africa and many more workshops like this are needed.