Sport integrity and safeguarding within UK sporting organisations
This paper considers United Kingdom sporting organisations, such as National Governing Bodies of Sport and issues related to sport integrity and the wider safeguarding domain. Within the UK any organisations seeking state funding for sport since 2017 must meet standards of governance as defined in the Code for Sports Governance. The Code sets out the levels of accountability, transparency and financial integrity required. It sets targets around diversity in decision making, and requirements for greater transparency and updated constitutional arrangements. Specific examples of National Governing Bodies of Sport and issues of sport integrity or governance will be presented. Sport organisations have a moral and statutory duty of care to protect the health and well-being of children, young people and vulnerable adults which they engage with. More recently the focus in the UK has also turned to elite athlete welfare and mental health issues. The duty of care responsibilities will be outlined with particular focus on safeguarding responsibilities. Issues faced include bullying, emotional abuse, grooming, physical and sexual abuse including historic allegations of abuse. Legislative and guidance frameworks in place in the UK to support NGBs with these issues will be outlined. The paper will draw on the work of Brackenridge in applying the six reasons why sports organisations are susceptible to incidents of sexual exploitation. Focussing particularly on examples of hierarchy, coach obedience and power relations. Specific examples of National Governing Bodies of Sport within the UK and relevant contemporary issues related to safeguarding in sport will be presented.