Gov’t working to safeguard children in sports
SPEAKING IN yesterday’s sitting of Parliament, Minister of Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange noted that her office has initiated discussions with colleague ministers of health and education, as well as youth and information, to review protocols and policy guidelines, to better protect and serve student athletes.
The technical team in her ministry has been in discussions with the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), which governs the Manning and daCosta Cup football competitions as well as the Boys and Girls Athletics Championships, among other school sporting competitions.
According to Grange, there will be the establishment of an inter-ministerial working group/task force on Safeguarding Children in Sport.
She explained that this task force will examine the role of Government in the provision of resources and capacity building, as well as in the setting, implementing, monitoring and enforcing of standards related to the participation of children in sports.
The task force will have responsibility for determining the suitability of children to participate in sport, criticalincident management, and reporting procedures.
Grange assured protocol on the provision of medical and other services at training and competition, and training and certification in safety and response.
Grange spoke about plans to advance the development of a policy for the safeguarding and protection of children in
She noted that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, the Office of Children’s Registry, the Child the Development Agency and the Children’s Advocate will work to build a partnership for creating a safe environment for children in sport.
Importantly, Grange said safeguarding actions should take precedence to ensure that children are protected against abuses, including: overtraining and training and participating in sport without proper nutrition.
She said they should not be forced to play while injured or while having a lack of or inadequate health and diagnostic checks or exposure to prohibited substances.
She also warned against sexual abuse, and mental and emotional abuse, where, according to Grange, children are made to feel like failures if they do not perform at a certain level.