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Australian Sports Commission takes leadership on child safety in sport

07 Dec 2017

Australian Sports Commission (ASC) CEO Kate Palmer says child safety measures must be prioritised and embedded in every Australian sporting organisation as the ASC launched an online toolkit to help sports enhance safe, supportive and friendly environments for children.

The ASC Board has also released its own commitment statement to child safety in sport, stating the ASC has “zero tolerance for any behaviour that puts the wellbeing of children and young people at risk”.

“We are committed to working with all involved in sport so that children and young people can enjoy sport and feel safe, valued and encouraged to reach their full potential,” the ASC Board’s commitment statement reads.

“Child safety must be embedded in every Australian sporting organisation’s culture, reflected in their policies and procedures, and understood and practised at all levels of the sport. This includes within our own organisation and facilities where children and young people come to practice, play, learn and excel.

“Our commitment extends not just to sporting environments that minimise risk or danger but also to encouraging sporting organisations to build an environment that is not only fully compliant with legal and regulatory requirements, but where children and young people can fully benefit from the opportunity sport offers.”

Ms Palmer said the ASC had developed the online advisory toolkit to assist sporting organisations with policies and procedures related to child safe environments.

“Everyone involved with delivering sport needs to understand the important legal and governance responsibilities in relation to child safety, including boards, committees, administrators, volunteers, coaches, parents and participants,” Ms Palmer said.

“The online toolkit provides extensive and practical advice for sporting organisations. and is the result of some fantastic collaboration by the National Safeguarding of Children in Sport Strategy (NSCSS) working group and the Australian Childhood Foundation.

“The ASC is committed to being a leader in child safe practices for Australian sport.”

The NSCSS Working Group includes: Australian Sports Commission; Play By The Rules; Football NSW; WA Sports Federation; Departments of Sport and Recreation, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia; Gymnastics Australia; Surf Life Saving Australia; NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian; Football Federation Australia; Vic Sport.

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Quick numbers

11.6 million Australian adults participate in sport or physical activity three or more times per week.
3.2 million Australian children participate in organised sport or physical activity outside of school.
$10 billion is spent annually by Australians on fees for participation in sport or physical activity.
17 million Australian adults participate in a sport or physical activity every year.
650 thousand Australians either coach, teach or instruct sport.