Does your sports club have children in it? If the answer is 'yes', you’ll probably be aware of the world of child protection and how important it is to keep children safe. As coaches, we are responsible for children’s safety when they’re in our care. It’s our duty to keep ourselves well-educated, so that we can always keep our members safe.
We’re coaches ourselves and we know just how hard it can be to keep up with new practices coming into place. That’s why we always try and bring you useful information when we come across it.
You may not know this, but there are best practice guidelines for communicating with children in sport, that every sports club should be following. This best practice is set by the CPSU.
Who are the CPSU?
The CPSU (Child Protection in Sport Unit) is a “partnership” between the NSPCC and some of the UK’s sporting public bodies (Sport England, Wales & Northern Ireland). Their aim is to work with organisations to minimise the risk of child abuse in sport.
The CPSU have guidance on all aspects of working with children in sport; including messaging. The guidance includes what age children can be contacted, at what point parents/guardians should be included etc.
How does Coacha help?
We know that running a sports club is tricky enough, without having to worry about manually contacting the right member/NOK depending on their age. So, we built Coacha’s communication system around the CPSU’s best practice guidelines for messaging children in sport. The 3 rules are as follows:
1. If a member is under 15, Coacha automatically redirects any communication to the NOK. Regardless of whether there’s an email address in the member’s profile.
2. If a member is between the ages of 15 and 18, Coacha sends the message to the member, but copies the NOK in.
3. If a member is over 18, Coacha sends the message directly to the member (unless ticked otherwise, for example, in the case of a vulnerable adult).
Coacha, first and foremost is software/an app that helps sports clubs manage their admin digitally. Coacha has so many different features such as member management, registers, payment collection/tracking, debt collection, GDPR features and more. So, you'll be keeping on top of your safeguarding, whilst also improving the way you do your admin, cutting back time and possibly saving money.
The same communication rules also apply for sending out payment and login requests, not just broadcasts. Plus, if the member is under 15 but the parent is happy for them to be contacted, the CPSU state that written consent should be given by the parent. Parents can tick a box in their child’s profile to allow direct contact with the child – it’s as easy as that.
Also, you can add the email address of a safeguarding moderator who will be copied in on all communication with children.
If you have children within your sports club, you should be communicating with them in accordance with the CPSU’s best practice. As busy coaches, it’s hard (and stressful) to ensure you’re doing this correctly if you’re doing it manually.
This is why we built our whole system around the guidelines, so you literally don’t even have to think about it anymore. Send your club updates out without worrying about whether you’re breaching safeguarding best practice.
Sounds good? Click here to sign up for a free trial of Coacha today. Or if you have any questions, give us a call on 01242 851300 and we’ll be more than happy to help!