Sport Ireland Publishes New Safeguarding Guidance for Children and Young People in Sport


Sport Ireland today launched the new Safeguarding Guidance for Children and Young People in Sport.

The new Guidance specifically builds on the core principles of safeguarding originally set out in the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children in Sport, providing alignment with current legislation and Children First Guidance 2017.

Speaking at today’s launch, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, said: “Ensuring children and young people partake in sport and physical activity in a safe an dwelcoming environment is of paramount importance, and is given particular emphasis in the new National Sports Policy. This is underpinned by the three levels of safeguarding training offered by Sport Ireland. These are the recognised basic training requirements and must be adhered to by all sporting bodies. The new developments announced today by Sport Ireland, will have a positive impact on the safeguarding landscape, not just on a national level but also in every sports club across the island of Ireland. I commend those who have put a lot of hard work into the development of these resources and I look forward to their rollout.”

The new Safeguarding Guidance, which was developed in conjunction with Sport NI and National Governing Bodies of Sport addresses issues facing sports leaders involved in children and young people’s sport by providing guidance relating directly to their roles and responsibilities within their clubs. The document outlines principles of good practice and child protection legislation, policy and procedures.

Sport Ireland Chief Executive, John Treacy, added: “Sport Ireland is delighted to publish the new Safeguarding Guidance for Children and Young People in Sport. This important resource reflects the challenges that National Governing Bodies and their clubs face on a day to day basis, ensuring that current best practice is followed while also complying with today’s relevant legislation. On behalf of Sport Ireland, I would like to thank the National Governing Bodies and Sport NI for their valuable input into this document.”

At today’s announcement on the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus, the Minister announced details of Sport Ireland’s new safeguarding self-assessment framework for National Governing Bodies of Sport. The framework will also provide a mechanism and supports for NGBs in turn to audit their clubs in relation to the area of Safeguarding.

The main purpose of the Sport Ireland Safeguarding Audit framework is to support National Governing Bodies to strengthen their adherence to safeguarding policies and procedures thereby ensuring that children and young people partaking in sport are protected. The audit framework was developed in conjunction with The Ineqe Group and follows an extensive consultation process with National Governing Bodies, including workshops, pilot testing, and culminating now in the roll out of the audit tool.

Sport Ireland Director of Participation and Ethics, Dr Una May, commented: “The main focus of Sport Ireland’s new Safeguarding Audit Framework will be to ensure that sporting organisations at all levels across Ireland are adequately structured and resourced to provide a safe environment in which all children and young people can partake in sport and physical activity. This is an important development for sport in Ireland, and Sport Ireland acknowledges the input and buy-in from the sporting sector in supporting this initiative.”

Also announced today was Sport Ireland’s second online resource in the area of safeguarding. The Sport Ireland Staying Safe Online resource is a web based information and guidance tool on internet safety predominately aimed at parents, guardians, coaches and young people involved in sport. The resource provides detailed content on all aspects of online safety.

The new Safeguarding guidance for Children and Young People in Sport can be downloaded here.

The Sport Ireland Staying Safe Online resource can be accessed here.