UK Anti-Doping (UKAD)’s Education and Athlete Support team is to provide a voice for anti-doping in a new safeguarding group formed by UK Coaching.
The new ‘Safeguarding and Protecting Elite Talented Children’ group, co-ordinated by UK Coaching, will seek to ensure that athlete welfare remains a priority throughout development of junior sportspeople. The inclusion of UKAD within the group reflects the risks to athletes’ welfare from taking image and performance enhancing substances.
Alongside UKAD, the group consists of representatives from organisations including The British Athletes Commission, UK Sport, the NSPCC, the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) and the Youth Sport Trust. The group will also engage with athletes to ensure their voice is heard, and share recommendations with key partners.
UKAD’s Director of Operations, Pat Myhill, said: “We are delighted to be able to ensure UKAD has a voice among a number of influential sporting organisations and that anti-doping has been considered, in what is a very important and topical subject.
“UKAD’s education strategy is based on collaboration and partnership working, and we are excited to share our expertise and knowledge with the group, as well as gaining insight from others. The outcomes of this initiative will be valuable to all sports organisations who have a role or remit in the development of talented athletes.
“UKAD regularly interacts with athletes at many stages of the development pathway and is in a strong position to contribute to the development of these new industry standards.”
UK Coaching's Director of Coaching, Emma Atkins, said: “We are proud to be co-ordinating this group and are resolute in the matter of protecting talented and elite young athletes, and indeed all children who participate in sport and physical activity, whatever the level.
“This is an opportunity to ensure coaches, organisations, parents and athletes can support one another to be safe and successful. Collectively, this is our chance to show what can be achieved when organisations come together for a shared goal and vision.”
This coming together of organisations follows the launch of the NSPCC’s ‘Sport Safeguarding Partnership’ strategic plan, and the group has identified four key areas of additional risk to talented young athletes: Training and competing away from home; general training and competition; club and training centre challenges; and support structure.
Proposals to address these four areas will be developed in line with recommendations made by recent reports into athlete welfare, including Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson in her independent review of the Duty of Care in Sport.