Academic teams up with Child Protection in Sport Unit to support NSPCC's Parents in Sport Week

A Swansea University academic has once again teamed up with the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) to help support the NSPCC’s annual Parents in Sport Week.

Dr Camilla Knight, an Associate Professor in Sport Science at Swansea University, is helping to highlight the important roles that parents play in ensuring children have safe and enjoyable experiences in sport.

Now in its third year, Parents in Sport Week was developed to draw attention to, and celebrate, the parents, carers, and guardians around the UK who help children to have safe and enjoyable experiences in sport.

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Across the UK, millions of children and young people are involved in some sort of sporting activity, but this involvement would not be possible without the support and encouragement of parents. Parents in Sport Week is a chance to celebrate parents’ commitment to helping children participate in sport, provide guidance to parents to optimise their involvement in their child’s sporting life, and also encourage clubs and parents to work together to enable all children to reach their sporting potential. 

Parents play a hugely pivotal role in encouraging and supporting their child’s participation, success and enjoyment when playing sport so it is essential that sports clubs communicate regularly with parents so coaches and parents are working towards the same goals.

Anne Tiivas, Service Head at Child Protection in Sport Unit said:

"We know parents play a critical role in youth sport. In fact, without parental support and involvement – from washing kits to the taxi of mum and dad – it’s likely that youth sport would cease to exist.

"We also know that without parents’ involvement in their child’s sport, children are less likely to achieve and sustain a lifelong interest in sport and adopt a healthy lifestyle. Parents in Sport Week is important because it encourages parents to make sure they are positively influencing their child’s involvement and wellbeing in sport and recognise their role in keeping them safe. It also encourages clubs to ensure they are engaging with parents."

Dr Camilla Knight, an Associate Professor in Sport Science at Swansea University said:

"Day after day, year upon year, parents, guardians, and carers across the UK commit time and money to enable their children to participate in sport. But supporting children’s sporting involvement isn’t always easy, and often comes at a detriment to parents’ own personal and working lives. But, without this commitment from parents, many children wouldn’t have a chance to participate or gain the range of physical, cognitive, or social benefits associated with sport.

"Unfortunately, parents get a bad rap in sport, with stories of poor behaviour on the sideline and pushy parents often making the headlines. Parents in Sport Week gives us a chance to change the conversation and focus instead on the millions of parents who are positively influence their children’s sporting lives and thank them for all they do. It’s also an important week for us to share guidance and information with clubs, coaches, and parents themselves regarding optimal parental involvement in sport so that parents can confidently help to create an environment in which all children are able to have safe and fun sporting experiences."

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