New research found less than four in 10 parents actively sought to understand the safeguarding procedures of their sports and leisure clubs before signing their child up to take part.
An online You Gov survey, conducted on behalf of the NSPCC, showed 38 per cent of parents actively tried to find out whether basic safety measures were in place before allowing their child to join a club.
Further cause for concern is that 38 per cent of parents said they had either never received, or could not recall, whether they had been sent any information about safeguarding measures by their child’s sports or leisure club once they were a member.
Tackling these issues and encouraging positive parental involvement in youth sports is the aim of the NSPCC’s Parents In Sport Week.
Wolves and the Saddlers joined Liverpool, Everton, Newcastle United and Aston Villa, as well as former Lions captain Sam Warburton and sports presenter Charlie Webster, in supporting the annual event, which also calls on parents to make ‘The Sports Parents Promise’ – an online commitment which helps them choose a safer club for their children.
The ‘promise’ also encourages parents to be a positive influence when watching their child’s games from the side lines.
Wolves head of safeguarding Lisa Carter said: “We are really pleased to be supporting this campaign and sharing across all of Wolves.
“There is nothing more important to us than keeping children safe and we work really hard to develop good relationships with our parents.
“We hope this campaign will highlight how important it is for parents to talk to us and for us to listen when they do.”
Walsall midfielder Liam Kinsella said: “We are happy to be supporting this campaign once again this year.
“It’s important that parents understand the safeguarding procedures and are involved in the process so that these issues can be tackled, something with NSPCC continue to aim to achieve throughout this week.
“It’s important you know who to go to if you have any concerns or problems and with me growing up at Walsall Football Club since I was eight-years-old, I knew I could turn to any of my coaches as well as my parents for advice.
“It’s important parents sign the Sports Parents Promise when their child joins a sports club and for them to know who to turn to when they need a helping hand to give them the best experience possible.”
Michelle North, Director of the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit, added: “Sport is a huge part of childhood with many young people spending countless happy hours practicing and playing and making new friends.
“Checking on a club’s safeguarding procedures before signing up will give parents the peace of mind that their child is in a safe and secure environment.
“That’s why we’re encouraging parents and sports clubs across the country to make our Sports Parents Promise, because it’s essential that everyone plays their part in protecting children and help make every sporting experience a positive one.”