Norfolk FA is backing Play Safe to support Safeguarding in Norfolk Football
Norfolk FA is lending its full support to Play Safe – an ongoing national campaign led by The FA to raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding in football.
Although it runs throughout the year, Play Safe is coming to the fore this weekend on Saturday/Sunday 1st and 2nd October.
The main focus this year is on parents and carers, with two key messages to convey:
- Awareness of the vital safeguarding role parents/carers play in football; and
- Encouragement to take the short, new and free online safeguarding course that’s been created specifically for parents/carers. You can access the course here.
Importantly, encouragement to take the new course has come from FASSSAG – The FA’s Survivor Support and Safeguarding Advisory Group:
“We have inputted into the course and helped frame its key messages from our collective experiences. It’s vitally important to us that every parent/carer understands they role they need to play in football. Taking this course can make a real difference – we are asking every parent/carer to commit to help ensure football is ever-safer.”
The support of FASSSAG has been welcomed by FA Chief Executive Mark Bullingham, himself a parent and youth football coach: “The FASSSAG has been important in helping us create our new strategy moving forwards and we really appreciate their input into the new course. I have taken the new course and encourage all parents/carers across football to take it too.
“Ultimately, safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. We all need to ensure that everyone involved in football – particularly children and young people – has a consistently safe and positive experience of our great game. Play Safe reminds everyone of that responsibility and keeps safeguarding front of mind, which is exactly where it should be.”
Play Safe is being run in partnership with the NSPCC and has the full backing of the Premier League, EFL, Barclays Women’s Super League and Barclays Women’s Championship.
It’s also being supported across all levels of the game, including grassroots football across Norfolk.
Norfolk FA's flagship facility, The FDC [Football Development Centre] in Norwich will be hosting its own Play Safe weekend, displaying materials and engaging activities for youth participants, as well as providing information for parents and coaches to find out more about Safeguarding in football.
Localised initiatives such as the 'Talk to us!' campaign will be present to remind people of the importance of reporting concerns, as well as youth engagement strategies such as the County FA's 'Safe Squad' mascots which aim to engage with young people directly regarding the Safeguarding in football.
The local Governing body is also asking Norfolk Football's clubs and leagues to get behind the initiative to raise awareness of a hugely important part of the game.
Matt Carpenter, Chief Executive and Senior Safeguarding Lead at Norfolk FA said: "We take Safeguarding very seriously and as a County FA are continually striving to ensure that all children and vulnerable people participating our local game can 'Play Safe'. This weekend is a great opportunity to steer the conversation back to the importance of Safeguarding in Norfolk Football.
"We have some activation taking place at The FDC this weekend and it would be great if parents and coaches at the facility take the time to look at the information we have on display and encourage youth participants to engage with the content and activities on offer. We are also encouraging particularly our youth clubs and leagues to get behind this weekend's campaign as much as possible within their own provision, to raise awareness among their players, parents and coaches."
"By working together, we can utilise this weekend's campaign to highlight a paramount area of football which needs to remain embedded in people's minds to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all that want to enjoy our local game."
Find out more about Safeguarding and welfare in local football on Norfolk FA's website here.