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This week (November 16-22) marks National Safeguarding Adults Week, an initiative set up by the Ann Craft Trust to prompt a nationwide conversation on safeguarding.

The BAC’s Athlete Support Manager and Lead Safeguarding Officer, Hannah Dean, explains why it’s so important that this subject is discussed, particularly in a sporting context:

“At the BAC, our remit from a safeguarding perspective is to protect the welfare and interests of our members, and prioritise their safety and well-being. We work in the system to promote a culture where athletes are listened to and respected as individuals, and provide a safe space for them to voice their concerns.

“Within elite sport, safeguarding our athletes is crucial, due to factors within their careers and lifestyles putting them at additional risk of abuse. Therefore, ensuring safeguarding measures are in place and adhered to across the system is vital for athlete welfare. Providing athletes with an independent and confidential route to raise concerns in the first instance, helps to ensure they can have confidence in this process.

“In order for us to provide the best service possible to our athlete membership, we work in partnership with the Ann Craft Trust and the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU), which allows us to stay connected with experts and seek professional advice when necessary. They provide our team with appropriate training and verify our policies, procedures and actions within this space to ensure we are always in line with legislation, and keeping safeguarding at the heart of our work.

“Any athlete within a world class programme is automatically a BAC member, and is therefore entitled to confidential and impartial advice on this, or any other issue. Athletes can contact the BAC’s Athlete Support Team directly.”

Last week, our Board of directors undertook a safeguarding training session with the CPSU and the Ann Craft Trust.

The Board’s Safeguarding Champion, Lizzie Simmonds, said:

“The training session was a fantastic opportunity for the Board to expand our safeguarding knowledge and explore our responsibilities from a governance perspective. The wellbeing of the BAC’s membership is our number one priority and promoting appropriate safeguarding practises across the system is a hugely important step in protecting athletes. Whilst child safeguarding is often given primary consideration, protecting adults at risk is equally important, and the BAC is proud to work in partnership with both CPSU and the Ann Craft Trust.”

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