This week Active Partnerships were delighted to welcome the first Sport Welfare Officer to the network.
Joe Gamble, who has started his role at Herts Sport and Physical Activity Partnership, the first of 63 officers being employed across the country, thanks to an investment from Sport England.
The new national Sports Welfare Officer (SWO) network is being created to support National Governing Bodies (NGB) and their local clubs to promote good practice and safe sport for children, young people and adults on a local level.
Included in the group of recruits will be two officers working directly for the Active Partnerships National Organisation helping to support and connect the new network of officers.
Andy Taylor, CEO of the Active Partnerships National Organisation said;
“We are really pleased to see the progress made on developing of the Sport Welfare Officer network. We welcome this important milestone with Joe becoming the first person to be appointed into these vital roles.
“We want to make it easier for everyone to enjoy an active life and to experience the enjoyment and benefits that being active can bring . We also believe the needs, expectations and safety of participants should come first when it comes to the design and delivery of every activity. That’s why we're working to support organisations and associations, including national governing bodies of sport, to safeguard children and adults."
The Sport Welfare Officers will add capacity and expertise to the existing safeguarding work of NGBs and Active Partnerships. They will also help further strengthen safeguarding in local clubs, looking at how policies and procedures are cascaded and helping share good practice, bringing those from different sports together. They will work closely with other Sport Welfare Officers, National Governing Bodies and wider organisations, connecting people working on welfare and safeguarding, both inside and outside sport.
A national steering group led by Sport England involves Active Partnerships, NGBs, NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit and Ann Craft Trust has been co-designing and developing the work of the officers.
If you are interested in becoming a Sport Welfare Officer, Active Partnerships are keen to hear from you. Please keep an eye on the vacancy page and the UK Sport Jobs page for more details or contact your local Active Partnership.