HA Commitment To Child Safeguarding

Author: Ben Somerford

 
The Hockey Australia Board has taken a significant step in the safeguarding of children and young people in the sport of Hockey, with the endorsement of the Child Safe Sport Framework for Australian Hockey.

The Child Safe Sport Framework has been developed in partnership with Sport Australia, and includes a Commitment Statement from the HA Board which reads in part:

Hockey Australia is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people who are involved in our sport. Our policies and procedures seek to address risks to child safety and to establish a child safe culture and practices.

Our suite of child safe policies is: accessible in forms that are easy to understand; have been informed by stakeholder consultation; and are communicated to children, young people and their families, our staff and volunteers and the general public. We regularly review our policies, gain endorsement of changes and advise our staff and volunteers of changes.

Hockey Australia Chair Melanie Woosnam said: “Hockey Australia has a zero tolerance approach to any form of child abuse and is committed to ensuring the sport of Hockey provides a safe, welcoming and friendly environment for all children and young people.

“It is imperative that children and young people who access our activities, programs, or events feel safe and supported.

“We will embed child safety in our organisation’s culture, our policies and procedures, and ensure it is understood and practiced at all levels of our sport.

“We commit to making sure that everyone involved with delivering hockey in Australia, including our volunteers, parents and participants, understand the important responsibilities they have in relation to child safety.”

The safeguarding of children is specifically called out in Hockey Australia’s new strategic plan, as part of an overall increased emphasis on integrity in the sport of hockey.

As part of the new strategic plan, Hockey Australia and all of its member associations will work collaboratively in implementing the Child Safe Sport Framework through all layers of Hockey.

This consistent approach will provide for improved operation of the policy framework across the sport, and create a safer environment for children and young people.

Hockey Australia CEO Matt Favier said: “Hockey is proudly a family sport, and we take great pride in continuing to make hockey a safe and inclusive environment for all members of the Hockey family.

“Our commitment extends beyond creating an environment that minimises risk or danger. We are committed to, in partnership with our member organisations, building an environment that is both child-safe and child-friendly.

“Together we can provide an environment in which children feel respected, valued and encouraged to reach their full potential.”

The full Child Safe Sport Framework for Australian Hockey is available at http://hockey.org.au/policies.