New strategic plan launched by the Safeguarding children in Sport Strategic Group

Last updated: 06 May 2021 Topics: Working with our partners Safeguarding children Type: News article

The Safeguarding in Sport Strategic Group (SCSSG) in Northern Ireland has implemented a strategic plan for 2021-2024 with the aim to make sport safer and promote life-long participation and healthier lifestyles.

The group is a multi-agency forum made up of voluntary and statutory organisations with a knowledge of sport. The priority for the group is to help ensure all children and young people taking part in sport in Northern Ireland have a safe and enjoyable experience. 

For further information see Sport Northern Ireland's website

Michelle North, Head of CPSU said:

''The launch of this new safeguarding plan is a fantastic opportunity for sports and statutory organisations to work together to put children and young people's rights at the heart of our thinking and safeguarding planning.

''It's important that we create a safe and supportive culture in our sports clubs, activities and organisations, where children can achieve their full potential, have fun and develop new skills.'' 

Ciaran Kearney NI Sports Forum and Safeguarding Children in Sport Strategic Group (acting) Chairperson said:

“By working together across sport, voluntary and statutory agencies, we believe the implementation of the Safeguarding Children in Sport Strategic Plan will ensure a child centred approach to sport and physical activity and we look forward to further collaboration in this area in the months and years ahead.”

The aims of the group

The group have 2 aims that they hope to achieve over the next 3 years:

  • to develop a coordinated multi-agency approach to safeguarding children and young people participating in sport and physical activity
  • to influence policy on safeguarding in sport and act as a voice for safeguarding children in the sports sector within government and other key bodies


The plan has set 5 core objectives:

  1. public funding will only be awarded to organisations that can evidence their attainment of the agreed safeguarding standards for sports
  2. make sure that children and young people are listen to and given a voice in sport
  3. raise awareness across sport of the possible risks of abuse to children, not just within sport but society wide and how sport can contribute to reducing these risks
  4. to have robust safer recruitment processes in place for those who coach, volunteer and work with children in sport
  5. to create an environment where agencies can work together consistently across all settings to improve the delivery of safe and fun sporting activities 

Antoinette McKeown, CEO Sport NI said:

“Sport plays an invaluable role in child development, enabling children to be part of their community and experience the intrinsic value of sport for life-long participation.  We have a clear duty to ensure that children and young people enjoy sport and achieve their potential in a safe environment.

Sport NI is delighted to welcome and support the launch of the Safeguarding Children in Sport Strategic Plan. This multi-agency collaborative guide shows the power of partnership to help everyone working in sport keep our children and young people safe so that together we can maximise the power of sport to change lives.”

Download the SCSSG strategic plan for 2021-2024

Further information