The LTA and Sport England have announced a partnership to launch ‘Safe to Play’, a new safeguarding awareness campaign.
The campaign will involve augmented reality pocket cards, which can be scanned using a smartphone camera and will take the user to digital resources aimed at keeping children and at-risk adults safe.
Resources including a dramatised video telling one family’s story of abuse in sport, as well as video guides on how to identify the signs of abuse and tips on staying safe in sport will be available on the cards. Users will also be given advice on the questions to ask when selecting a coach.
The new campaign will also include cards sent out to every LTA accredited coach, with safeguarding information relevant to their role, including case studies and the option to report a concern to a safeguarding expert. The LTA also says that the initiative will be supported by a dedicated website and a series of Safe to Play training and awareness events will be held throughout 2020.
The NSPCC’s Sport England-funded Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) was included on the Safe to Play campaign and the augmented reality work, while the initial phase of the project involved Sport England funding the National Working Group (NWG) to develop augmented reality communications for parents and the sector as a whole.
David Humphrey, Head of Safeguarding, LTA, said: “Nothing is more important than the safety and wellbeing of those involved in our sport. We have made significant progress over the last few years with tennis now at the forefront of safeguarding in sport. However, abuse can happen anywhere and at any time, and working with Sport England to lead and test an innovative campaign like Safe to Play demonstrates our commitment to helping prevent abuse from happening.”
Alexandra Moore, Head for Children and Young People, Sport England added: “Our job at Sport England is to support more people of all ages and backgrounds to regularly take part in sport and physical activity. Ensuring that people feel safe when they get active is fundamental in achieving our goals and that’s why we have partnered with the LTA, the NWG and the CPSU on this innovative awareness campaign.
“Safe to Play aims to highlight the role everyone involved in sport – parents, players, coaches and volunteers – can play in protecting our children and young people; raising awareness of safeguarding to ensure everyone so that anyone taking part engages in sport and physical activity has a positive experience.”