Parents play an essential part in encouraging and supporting their child's participation in their chosen sport.
Rights and responsibilities
It's your right as a parent (or carer) to be able to check how well a sports club is run, for the sake of your child's safety and your peace of mind.
We cover the key points you should consider when choosing a sports club or activity.
It's also important to consider what impact your behaviour as a parent will have on how your child experiences sport. Whether you become an inspiration or take the fun out of the game depends on what you do on the side-lines.
Many parents don't even realise that their behaviour could be having an impact on their child's enjoyment of sport. But children do react to different types of behaviour – click on the 'Supporting your child in sport' tab for examples in their own words.
To keep the atmosphere positive, we've made a list of things you can do (and what not to do) to support your child in sport.
Getting help if you're worried about a child
If you're worried that a child is being abused or put at risk during sports activities, it's vital that you talk to someone.
The idea of speaking out about abuse or poor practice in a club can be daunting. You'll probably feel worried about the impact on you and/or the child.
But if you have concerns, you must take action. By doing so you'll be safeguarding the child concerned as well as helping to prevent other children being harmed or put at risk.
- if you think a child is in immediate danger of abuse, contact the police on 999
- if there's no immediate danger and you're unsure of who to speak to, call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 for immediate advice
- find out the club guidelines for recording and reporting concerns and follow them
- speak to the club child-protection or welfare officer
- for concerns related to swimming, you can contact SwimLine on 0808 100 4001
If you experienced sexual abuse as a young footballer, you can ring the free, 24-hour NSPCC football helpline – 0800 023 2642 – for support.