This weekend sees the launch of Play Safe – a national FA-led initiative which is run in partnership with the NSPCC and is supported by police forces across the country.
Play Safe is all about raising awareness of the vital importance of safeguarding within football.
This is not a one-off campaign, it will be run on a specific weekend every season and has the backing of the Premier League, EFL, Barclays FA Women’s Super League and the FA Women’s Championship.
Speaking on the importance of this campaign, Superintendent Lee Edwards said: “Safeguarding for key groups of people, crucially children, is so important in the world of football and sports.
“Having local teams and clubs are a great opportunity for children to learn many skills, whilst having fun, but having the correct policies and principles in place are key.
“Playing football, or any sports, should be a safe, enjoyable and inclusive environment for children and young people.
“If you are a coach, is your DBS check up to date?
“Do you regularly check in with your players and help them to feel safe sharing or speaking up about any concerns?
“As board or committee members at local clubs or leagues, have you taken the relevant safeguarding courses and are all of your policies up to date? The club’s welfare officers details should be widely available to all children and guardians and a formal welcome process for new players and parents should be in place.
“For parents or guardians, make sure you have the relevant welfare officers number should you need it and check you’re up to date with your child’s club’s safeguarding policies and procedures.
“Whatever your role in football, please remember that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.”
To learn more about the national campaign, click here.