WSA RESPONSE TO “DUTY OF CARE” REPORT
Last week saw the publication of Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s “Duty of Care” report which looks at ensuring welfare standards in sport (available here). The UK Government will now consider approval of the recommendations, which could have wide ranging implications for those bodies that work in sport in Wales, particularly those involved with the pathway for elite level athletes.
Given the number of allegations of safeguarding incidents and unacceptable welfare standards across a wide range of sports, serious questions have been raised as to whether welfare and safety are being prioritised and whether the current balance between welfare and winning is correct. The report, commissioned by the UK’s Government’s Minister for Sport, Tracy Crouch MP, to look at sport’s “Duty of Care” was published on April 21st, making a series of recommendations for UK Government, National Governing Bodies of Sport and other stakeholders to take forward. Using a broad definition spanning personal safety and injury; mental health issues; the support given to people at elite level; and safeguarding, the report looks across a wide range of sports and levels of participation, and attempts to make its messages as widely relevant as possible.
The headline recommendations are:
- A Sports Ombudsman created by the government that has the power to hold National Governing Bodies to account for the duty of care they provide
- An independent benchmark survey to measure duty of care
- A named board member at every National Governing Body responsible for duty of care
- An induction process for all participants entering elite sport
- An exit survey for elite athletes as they leave performance programmes
- A Duty of Care Charter established by government, explicitly setting out acceptable treatment and where advice support and guidance can be obtained
Commenting on the report, Helen Humphrey, Chair of the Welsh Sports Association (WSA) said:
“The WSA welcomes Baroness Tanni Grey-Thomson’s report’s proposals, and we look forward to clarification from both Welsh Government and Sport Wales on the implications for promoting the welfare of athletes and participants in Wales, particularly around the jurisdiction of an Ombudsman for Sport.
The WSA, and our members, take safeguarding and the mental and physical well-being of participants in sport and active recreation very seriously. We are proud to be delivering a national DBS checking service, and NSPCC-approved safeguarding training, to help ensure that welfare standards in Wales are kept high.
We recognise the challenges that are faced by the sports sector and would welcome the opportunity to work with government to take forward the recommendations contained within the report. We will also be assisting our members in understanding the potential of how these proposals could impact on their activities.”
- A full summary of the 38 page report is available to WSA members within the Advocacy & Policy section of our website.
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