Safeguarding in Sport


There have been recent investigations into the Professional Footballers Association following historical allegations of child sexual abuse within the sport. These have raised concerns over the safeguarding of children and young people participating in all sports.

Getting involved in sport is a great way for young people to keep fit, develop their physical skills, increase their confidence, make friends and become part of a team.

Lots of people give up their time to become a coach and help teach and encourage children and young people, but occasionally incidents of grooming and abuse occur. Ensuring that children participating in sport are as safe as possible is much more rigorous than ever before.

Click on the links below to find out what the governing bodies of many sports are doing to safeguard children.

Safeguarding in Cricket

Safeguarding in Football

Safeguarding in Gymnastics

Safeguarding in Netball  

Safeguarding in Rugby

Safeguarding in Swimming

Safeguarding in Tennis

Reporting Concerns

If you have any concerns about an adult working with a child under the age of 18 that you would like to report, please contact a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

A LADO should be informed if you any have concerns where it is believed that a person working with children has;

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;

  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or

  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children.

Local Authority Designated Officers can be contacted via email on or using the LADO central telephone number 0300 123 2044 for allegations against all staff and volunteers.

Child Protection in Sport Unit

The NSPCC have a dedicated website called Child Protection in Sport Unit which has specific resources and information for safeguarding children in sport.

The Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) is a partnership between the NSPCC, Sport England, Sport Northern Ireland and Sport Wales 

The Unit was founded in 2001 to work with UK Sports Councils, National Governing Bodies (NGBs), County Sports Partnerships (CSPs) and other organisations to help them minimise the risk of child abuse during sporting activities.

This followed a series of high profile cases of abuse of young athletes by those in positions of trust such as coaches in the sports.

NSPCC Football Helpline

The NSPCC have a free helpline for anyone who has experienced sexual abuse as a young footballer. The helpline can offer you support, 24 hours a day.

0800 023 2642