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Be active and stay safe

A video about safeguarding adults in sports by Sport England Club Matters

Safeguarding in sport is the process of protecting  adults from harm by providing a safe space in which to play sport and be active. Everyone has a role to play in keeping others safe and people should know what to do if they have any concerns. (Sport England)

What does safeguarding adults in sport mean?

Safeguarding adults means protecting and keeping adults from free from abuse and neglect. Therefore every sport and physical activity organisation has a responsibility to protect adults. Getting this right ensures that all adults can enjoy safe access to physical activity.

  • Sports or physical activity clubs should have policies and procedures in place to help ensure the safety of adults.
  • Sports clubs with a National Governing Body should seek advice from them and follow their policies and procedures.
  • Appoint a Safeguarding Adults Welfare Officer, or verify that an existing Welfare Officer is appropriately trained and knowledgeable on how to protect adults
  • Make safeguarding adults a topic for discussion at committee meetings.

An adult safeguarding policy should be developed, adopted, and implemented by sport and physical activity organisations.

The Care Act of 2014 established a legal framework for safeguarding adults. Community organisations play an important role in recognising and responding to safeguarding concerns. These concerns must be properly identified and addressed.

All committee members, leaders, coaches, members, and participants should be aware of the policy’s foundations and how to recognise and respond to problems.

Click here to access an easy read version of the Care Act 2014.


  • Sports or activity clubs should talk to the adult if there are concerns and give people the choice/control over their decisions


  • Sports or activity clubs should create a culture that participants feel able to discuss issues and know where they can go if they have a concern
  • Make sure information is clear, simple and accessible


  • Sports or activity clubs should always ensure that they always think about the risk
  • Respect the person and get them involved as much as needed


  • Sport or activity clubs should know what to do if there are concerns, offer help and support
  • Provide staff with information on training and enable access to online learning
  • If a sports club is part of a National Governing Body they can speak to their designated safeguarding lead for advice and guidance


  • Sport or activity clubs should work in partnership with other organsiations and the local community to ensure everyone is playing a part in the prevention, detection and reporting of adult abuse or harm.


  • Sport or activity clubs to understand that everyone is accountable as an individual or as a club
  • Ensure there are clear roles and responsibilities, such as the appointment of a Safeguarding Welfare Officer
  • The Safeguarding Welfare Officer should collate relevant facts and appropriate information about the concern i.e. make a written record of the concern

Ann Craft Trust

Adult Safeguarding in Sport and Physical Activity Resources 

Adult Safeguarding in Sport and Physical Activity Training Guidance.

Adult Safeguarding Essentials