Scottish Rugby Safeguarding Conference 2022

Scottish Rugby Safeguarding Conference 2022

Last Saturday (19 November) saw representatives from over 85 rugby clubs across Scotland attend the Scottish Rugby Safeguarding Conference.

Scottish Rugby acknowledges that safeguarding in sport is not just about protecting children from others who may seek to harm them. It is also about providing club members and volunteers with the education and knowledge to identify when a child is at risk and follow the correct procedures to ensure the safety and welfare of that child.

The conference saw three speakers deliver engaging workshops; the keynote speaker Bill Woodside, Chief Operating Officer, Ineqe Safeguarding Group delivered a session providing insightful advice, knowledge and technical solutions to identify and reduce risk associated with young people.

Delegates also heard from David Black, Service Manager, Child Wellbeing & Protection in Sport, Children 1st who discussed the importance of promoting a positive and inclusive culture within a club to ensure you are making it a safe place for children.

Rounding off the event, Dr Mat Wilkie, Trans Inclusion Officer, LEAP Sport spoke about the importance of greater inclusion for LGBTQ+ individuals in sport. Matt provided guidance on how clubs can make a difference by starting conversations with those around them and making a stand against anti-LGBTQ+ language and slurs, and through raising awareness of the stigma and discrimination that members of the LGBTQ+ community can face in sport.

Scottish Rugby have been unable to host a Safeguarding Conference since 2018 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Faye Henderson, Safeguarding Advisor at Scottish Rugby commented: “It was lovely to see everyone in person today after the past few years only being able to meet over a computer screen.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have so many passionate Child Protection Officers at our clubs who ensure that safeguarding is a top priority throughout our grassroots game. It cannot be stressed enough how important and valuable their role is for the safety of all young people in our sport.”

Karen Burnett, Scottish Rugby’s Lead Safeguarding Officer said: “We were thrilled to be joined by our three incredible speakers who supported the delivery of the conference and provided key learnings opportunities for our attendees through their workshops.

“We were delighted to see so many representatives from clubs across the county come together to discuss the importance of safeguarding and supporting the wellbeing of the young individuals in our sport.”

If your club has any queries or is looking for advice or guidance regarding Safeguarding, please email the Safeguarding Team at [email protected]

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