We recently visited 35 of our youth clubs as part of our safeguarding compliancy checks.
During these visits we took the opportunity to have conversations with some of the young players to gather important feedback of their views of the game, to find out what they feel will improve their experience and most importantly to ensure that they are safe.
We asked a variety of questions to find out what the players enjoyed about football and the biggest response we got from the children and young people was that they play football for fun.
Furthermore, fun was the most common word used during all of the conversations; the players play football for fun and because it is fun. The consensus we found from the players is that having fun is more important than winning.
It was clear from the players that we spoke to, that they had good relationships with their coaches and that they enjoy fun organised sessions. They also preferred it when their coaches did not shout too much during the sessions and on match days. The young players enjoy playing for clubs and teams, but in particular playing with their friends and also making friends.
One of the main reasons for holding the conversations was to gather an understanding of children’s awareness of safeguarding and if they knew who to report any concerns to.
The message to ‘tell an adult that you trust’ does seem to be well known amongst the children and young people that we saw, although there is still room for improvement in this area.
We were also pleased to see how many of the players already know that they can contact Childline. The players were all given cards that highlighted this message and gave details of who to contact including Childline.
The graphic at the top of the page gives the keywords to the top responses that we received. Our work gathering feedback from our young players will continue over the upcoming months as we continue to work to improve their experience in the game but most importantly, allowing open communication is in itself is an important safeguard to protect our young participants.
For any further information please contact Safeguarding:
T: 01903 768578