Creating a Safe Space: Safeguarding our Children in Sports – Part 1


The SafeSports Webinar Series

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In this episode, The Drive Phase Media’s Webinar under the theme, “Creating a Safe Space: Safeguarding our Children in Sports” is presented. The webinar was designed to discuss ways stakeholders can contribute to child protection and safeguarding of youth in sports. It aimed to formulate solutions designed to encourage everyone to do their part to keep sport safe. The webinar’s objective is also to assist sport-based initiatives in developing practical tools focused on child protection and safeguarding practice and to foster the progression of policies, practices and procedures to keep sports fun and children safe. There were four international and regional panellists including:

Diahann Gordon Harrison-Children’s Advocate of Jamaica
Topic: Abuse in Sport: The Jamaican Reality

Karen Madden, Sports Journalist- Jamaica 
Topic: Media’s Responsibility: Whistleblowing in a Culture of Silence

Kendia Brathwaite, Sports Scientist- Barbados
Topic: Recruiting, Training and   Communication

Ju’Riese Colón, CEO- U.S. Center for SafeSport
Topic: Minimising risk for children in sports 

Dianne Gordon Harrison discusses:

  1. The roles of the Children’s Advocate of Jamaica 
  2. Children in Competitive Sports 
  3. The “Ideal” situation for children safely participating in sports
  4. Physical, mental and emotional safety in sports
  5. Statistics showing cases reported in Jamaica 
  6. The need for standardization and sensitization of athletes, coaches and sporting administrations

In her presentation, journalist, Karen Madden shares the type of incidents that have happened locally that she has highlighted through her work and the role of the media in safeguarding children in sports. She discusses the abuse of youth by coaches and the lack of due diligence of school administrations in their recruiting coaches. She also shares that the overwork of student-athletes is a major issue of abuse that students face. 

Sports Scientist, Kendia Brathwaite speaks about:

  1. The signs of abuse (Recruiting, training and communicating)
  2. Safeguarding children in sports in the Caribbean context 
  3. Measures that must be put in place to safeguard children in sports

Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Center for SafeSport, Ju’Riese Colón discusses the tenets of driving a cultural change in safeguarding children in sports by her organisation. She speaks about the importance of education and outreach in facilitating safe sport. She also notes that accountability along with tools for response and resolution are crucial to safeguarding children in sports.

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