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Child Matters offer child protection services

Child Matters offer child protection services to sporting organisations

New Zealand sporting organisations and clubs are being reminded to review their policies, practices and training in regards to keeping children and young people safe.

The timely reminder comes from charitable organisation, Child Matters, following the sentencing yesterday of former USA gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar, who received between 40 to 175 years in prison for abusing athletes in his care.

Child Matters chief executive, Jane Searle, says many of our country’s children and young people regularly play sport. Having the right policies, practices and training in place in order to protect them at every level, of every sporting association, must be taken seriously.

“It’s vital that our children and young people feel safe when they are playing sport and that if something is not right, they feel able to speak up. Sports codes, clubs and organisations must have the skills and confidence to appropriately respond to ensure children are kept safe and get the support they need.

“Equally, families have a right to feel confident that when their children are engaging in sport, that the adults around them are safe and their children are being looked after.”

Mrs Searle says sporting organisations and clubs can work with organisations like Child Matters to review their policies and practices, and to develop new systems as required.

This morning, Sport New Zealand chief executive, Peter Miskimmin, told Radio New Zealand that most national sporting organisations have a child protection policy and a designated child protection person or officer to safeguard young people, athletes and those volunteering and working in sport.

He stated that the case in America is a reminder that all people dealing with youth have a duty of care to ensure kids get the benefits from being involved in sport and recreation.

Mrs Searle says she hopes sporting organisations throughout the country will be reviewing their policies, practices and training in light of this case.

“As a community, we all have a role to play in keeping our children and young people safe and providing the right policies, practices and training to the people in direct contact with our children is an important step.”

Since 1994, Child Matters has been advocating for the rights of children and young people, inspiring New Zealanders to make sure that every child flourishes in a safe, stable and nurturing environment. Child Matters has cemented its place as a world-class provider of training, policy and consulting services, while actively participating in the development of our community’s understanding and commitment to child protection.


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