Ensuring safe sport for children

From “Ensuring safe sport for children” – Sport NZ

  • Preventing those who have been identified as causing harm to children from having contact with children in your sport
  • Removing and/or minimising any risks of, and opportunities for, harm to children
  • Identifying and stopping inappropriate behaviour if it occurs
  • Providing support to children and their families should a child be harmed

Helping from the top

Sports leaders are uniquely placed to show leadership on family violence. The values and policies of a club or team will influence the behaviour of its members.


Alcohol is not the cause of violence, but it makes it worse. Police estimate between 50 and 70% of their work is associated with alcohol.

Clubs can help reduce alcohol-related harm. Think about how to create a safer environment where drinking doesn’t become the focus of your club, or an excuse for violence. More information on preventing and reducing alcohol related harm can be found at www.alcohol.org.nz

Safe adults working with kids

Children and adults are most likely to be sexually abused by someone that is known to them – someone in their family, friend group, church, workplace or sports club.

People who abuse children are difficult to detect. Child sexual abusers go to great lengths to gain access to children. Some clubs have developed processes to help ensure that only safe adults work with children and young people. This can include:

  • a vetting process before the appointment of paid and volunteer staff (including parent coaches)
  • routine Police check of staff and volunteers
  • signed agreements about acceptable behaviour
  • a club policy that outlines safe respectful behaviour
  • a club culture encouraging people to speak up about any concerning behaviour.

Information on developing recruitment checklists, questions to ask in interviews, and screening and vetting processes including Police checks is available in Safe Sport for Children Guide from Sport NZ or on their website www.sportnz.org.nz

An example of a child protection policy developed by Pedal Ready and BikeNZ can be found at www.pedalready.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/PR-Child-Protection-Policy-.pdf

If a child tells you, or you suspect, that they are a victim of family violence, contact the Police (111) or Child, Youth and Family (0508 FAMILY).