How can everyone contribute to safer, child-centred sport experiences?
Spend a moment thinking about your car driving. Do you contribute to other road users’ welfare through your driving behaviour but also with your attitudes towards speeding, drink driving, regular MOTs, following road markings and showing your driving licence when requested?
Just as the behaviour of all drivers should contribute to the welfare of other road users so the behaviour of paid and unpaid coaches and participants should also be welfare conscious and people-centred. After all, beyond family and school, children probably spend more time mixing with adults and their peers in sport than virtually any other activity: it deserves everyone’s, full attention and, like the rules of the road, enforceable policies that oblige everyone to play their part. Most sport and physical activity happens without incident and, in general, volunteer and paid coaches are doing a good job. This article argues for improving the quality of what they do, which will improve participant experiences and safety.