Creating safer cultures in sport – Learning from lived experience

Last updated: 24 Nov 2021 Topics: Athlete wellbeing Elite athletes Duty of care

In this podcast episode, we talk with former professional footballer Paul Stewart. Paul talks about the impact that childhood abuse has had on him and how we can all help to create a safer culture in sport for young people.

We discuss the importance of creating a culture of safety where children's voices are heard. Paul also emphasises the importance of robust safeguarding policies and procedures in sport and activity to ensure all children and young people have a safe and fun experience.

Looking after yourself

During this podcast we talk about childhood sexual abuse. This may be difficult to hear and, for some people, it may bring up distressing memories, thoughts or feelings.

Whilst it may not be easy to listen to, this episode includes important information to help all of us keep children safe in sport.

To look after yourself while you listen consider taking breaks, listening during a walk or before an activity you enjoy such as exercise or meeting a friend. 

You will find links to organisations that can provide emotional support below.

Can’t see the player? You can also listen to this episode on our Audioboom channel.


Paul Stephenson – CPSU Senior Consultant
Paul Stewart – former professional footballer

About Paul

Paul Stewart is a former Premiership and International footballer who played for some of the biggest clubs in English Football, including Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspurs and Liverpool.

Paul has lived experience of childhood sexual abuse by his football coach. Paul’s story was featured in BBC1’s “Football's Darkest Secret”, where he discussed openly and honestly about the impact abuse has had on his life. 

Since speaking about his experience, Paul now works to create safer spaces and cultures within sport for all children, young people, adults at risk and athletes. Paul works for the English Football League and Premier League to education and raise awareness with academy players, staff and volunteers.

Further information


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