Why safeguarding adults is so important in table tennis

Author:
Annie Stone

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At Table Tennis England we have a great deal of expertise and experience in safeguarding best practice in the form of our Safeguarding and Ethics Manager and our Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Safeguarding Adults Week is an opportunity for organisations to come together to raise awareness around important safeguarding issues, share resources and encourage a collective approach to safeguarding to create safer cultures.

Our team has a combined 25 years’ experience working in table tennis and shaping the safeguarding landscape of the sport through working with the Child Protection in Sport Unit, Sport England and, most recently, the Ann Craft Trust.

Table Tennis England’s Deputy Safeguarding Lead, Victoria Wiegleb, explains why adult safeguarding in table tennis is so important:

“For adults the main safeguarding concern is around mental health, this can have a damaging effect on people’s lives – to raise awareness of this and provide adults with support in this area is key.

“We are continuously working on projects to ensure that our members are safe, whether this be coach-related matters such as ensuring all coaches are licensed, fully qualified and up to date with their training,or policy and guidance updates and communications.”

Judy Rogers, the Safeguarding and Ethics Manager and Designated Safeguarding Lead, encourages the table tennis community to look at adult safeguarding in the same way as we look at safeguarding for young people.

She said: “Many of the issues that affect young people also affect adults in terms of being abused – whether it be mentally or physically. For some of our communities there are risks associated with radicalisation, forced marriages, modern slavery and fgm to name a few. Our role as the governing body for table tennis is to ensure that through our work we can support and educate our clubs, leagues and staff to ensure that our members health and well-being is a priority.

“All of our clubs, leagues and organisations involved with the sport need to put in place the processes and guidance we have written and have available, ensure that they take advantage of our support and education so that they do all they can to protect their members and make it more difficult to keep those people out of our sport who want to cause harm. Don’t wait until you have to make that call to the safeguarding team to ask for help because you have a case to handle – take action now so you never have to make that call.”

By listening, reporting and making sure everyone knows that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility we can ensure our sport is safe. If you think something isn’t right, it probably isn’t – contact us. It’s always best to be safe, rather than sorry.

If you are a young person or an adult and you either have concerns about someone you play with or if you feel you are a victim of abuse – CALL US on 01908 208860.

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