Blog entry by Niall Judge
In this blog post Nicola Dean, Safeguarding Adults in Sport Manager at the Ann Craft Trust, discusses the importance of creating safer cultures in sport and their new #SaferCultureSaferSport campaign.
Organisational culture is the collection of values, expectations, and practices that guide and inform the actions of all members and volunteers within your organisation. If your culture is focused on prioritising welfare, wellbeing, and safety, this will translate into a positive and healthy environment for everyone where inappropriate behaviour, attitudes and abuse do not have the opportunity to grow or develop.
There is a growing appetite to create safer cultures in sport, initiated in part by the issues highlighted within the Duty of Care in Sport Review published in 2017. The report raised awareness of the welfare issues that participants and the workforce (volunteers and paid) in sport and activity can face and led to some recognition of the relationship between an unhealthy organisational culture and the risks to individual’s welfare, safety and wellbeing.
Media reports and reviews into allegations of abuse in sport have further highlighted abuse and poor practice within sport organisations, particularly, but not exclusively, to those at an elite level. A recent example of this is tennis player Naomi Osaka, who announced that she would not attend post-match press conferences at the French Open due to anxiety which ultimately resulted in her withdrawing from the competition.
So how does this relate to grassroots organisations? Everyone has the right to take part in sport and activity safely, free from abuse and neglect. Organisations that do not consider the wellbeing of everyone involved risk creating toxic and abusive cultures. Members and volunteers do not stay in those groups; they leave and tell other people about it, which ultimately impacts on membership and volunteer rates. Social media also amplifies the grievances of people who do not feel their views are listened to. The Ann Craft Trusts Safeguarding Matters podcast discusses the safeguarding issues that exist in the world of professional wrestling, as one specific example, and the #SpeakingOut campaign.
What is the #SaferCultureSaferSport campaign?
#SaferCultureSaferSport is a new campaign from the Ann Craft Trust, encouraging sport and activity organisations to create safer cultures for everyone. To create a safer culture, organisation must listen, learn, and lead.
- Listen – create an environment where everyone is confident that their concerns are welcomed, listened to and addressed appropriately.
- Learn – encourage continuous learning and reflection at all levels of your organisation to create and embed a safer culture.
- Lead – lead with positive actions and values to empower everyone with the confidence to challenge and instigate change.
For more information on the campaign, just follow this link to the Ann Craft Trust website - www.anncrafttrust.org/saferculture
You can also listen to the Ann Craft Trust Podcast on #SaferCulturesSaferSport, where our Safeguarding Adults in Sports team discuss what is meant by safer cultures and how such cultures can prevent abuse. They also talk about the how the Listen, Learn and Lead principles will help organisations to embed a safer culture.
Make a Commitment to the #SaferCultureSaferSport campaign
Organisations are encouraged to join the Ann Craft Trust in working together to create safer cultures in sport and sign up to the #SaferCultureSaferSport campaign commitment. By doing this, organisations commit to reviewing and improving their culture to build a safer environment for everyone. After signing up, your organisation will receive email updates throughout the year to help you build a safer culture.
If you would like to discuss the campaign with a member of the Ann Craft Trust Safeguarding Adults in Sport Team please email - firstname.lastname@example.org