Job search
Job Search

Editor's letter: Tackling child abuse in sport

The activities of paedophiles in grooming and abusing children and young people in sport is the greatest challenge we have ever faced. We must tackle it head on

by Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Sports Management Nov Dec 2016 issue 128
Read on turning pages | Download PDF of this issue

We love to see sport as a wonderful part of life where we strive to do our best. Where we learn lessons in determination – fighting to win, but being gracious in defeat. Where teamwork forges friendships and creates tribes for life and good exercise habits are established.

But while this is true for the majority, a darker reality is opening before our eyes, as the awful extent of paedophile activity in sport begins to emerge.

Right-thinking people in the industry are bracing to deal compassionately and effectively with whatever horrors unfold in the coming months and years.

As I write, after just a handful of days, 14 police forces are already engaged in the investigation and around 800 people are reported to have come forward to say they were abused. The current focus is on football, but it seems inevitable this will extend to other sports and that to a degree, the entire sports sector will be touched by this horrible tragedy.

We know from Savile how long this takes: sport now faces years of challenging times, as accusations and alleged coverups are investigated and action taken.

What can be done? For those who have been harmed, justice brings some closure and must be delivered. As important, however, is the need to sweep through sport to flush out this evil and ensure it’s never possible for children to be exploited and abused.

There must be no dark corners where paedophiles can hide and thrive. This goal has sustained the courage of those who’ve come forward, with the aim of preventing other innocents suffering as they have.

It must never be possible for paedophiles to infiltrate sport, never possible for them to take advantage of children who feel they have the expectations of parents and adults on their shoulders. Never possible for them to exploit the hopes and dreams of young people.

Governance and honesty lie at the heart of this. There is evidence emerging that some adults and sports organisations have been more likely to turn a blind eye or attempt a cover-up than to ‘rock the boat’ when it comes to taking action against paedophiles.

So if adults and those in power cannot be relied on to protect children when they are suspicious, things must be organised to allow for this fact. Whatever it takes to make it work, we must do it, and we must do it fast.

Teams, clubs and governing bodies must review their processes and deliver on this immediately to stop it dead in its tracks, so no more harm is done.

Very sadly, history is showing us that nothing less than total elimination through control will do.

This will damage volunteering as people hesitate to step forward in case they are suspected, undermine parent’s faith in sports’ ability to safeguard their children.

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
Sports jobs
Everyone Active
featured job

Swimming Teachers

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive hourly rate
Job location: Nationwide

Fitness Class Instructors

Anglia Ruskin University
Salary: Hourly paid upon submission of claims
Location: Chelmsford, UK

General Manager

GLL
Salary: Up To £31,251 PA (based on 39 hours Per Week)
Location: Horton Park Avenue, Bradford BD5 0NL, UK

Swimming Teacher

Circadian Leisure Trust
Salary: £10.96 - £13.24 per hour
Location: Yate, Bristol, UK

Duty Manager

GLL
Salary: Up To £25,655 PA
Location: London, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £9.00 per hour
Location: Belfast, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £18,305 per annum
Location: Cambridge, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £18,305 per annum
Location: Amersham, UK

Assistant General Manager

The Gym Group
Salary: Competitive salary plus benefits
Location: Telford, UK

Team Leader

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive Salary
Location: Bristol, UK
recruiting with sports management

Swim Manager

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive Rates
Location: Alton, UK

Duty Manager

Mytime Active
Salary: £20,000 - £25,000 per annum
Location: Bromley, UK

Recreation Assistant / Lifeguard

Mytime Active
Salary: £17,076.80 per annum pro rata
Location: Bromley, UK

Assistant Head Climbing Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: £23,000 - £26,000 pa
Location: London, UK

Receptionist

Legacy Leisure
Salary: Competitive
Location: Exeter, UK

Leisure Centre Supervisor

GLL
Salary: Up To £22,930 per annum
Location: Belfast, UK

Duty Manager

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive Salary
Location: Great Cambourne, Cambourne, Cambridge, UK
recruiting with sports management

General Manager

truGym
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: Stevenage, UK

Receptionist

Legacy Leisure
Salary: Competitive
Location: Nailsea, UK

Membership Consultant

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Romford, UK

Assistant Manager

GLL
Salary: Up to £31,251 per annum
Location: Faringdon, Oxfordshire, UK

General Manager

Lex Leisure
Salary: Up to £40K plus generous bonus arrangements.
Location: Tilgate, Crawley, UK

Contract Maintenance Manager

Everyone Active
Salary: circa £33k
Location: Harrow, UK

Assistant General Manager

The Gym Group
Salary: Competitive salary plus benefits
Location: Catford, London, UK
training with sports management

Assistant General Manager

The Gym Group
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: Telford, UK

Female Fitness Studio Manager

SportsJobs4Women
Salary: £1,900 / month + commissions (OTEs of £3,000 - Tax Free)
Location: Jeddah Saudi Arabia

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £18,305 per annum
Location: Bath, Somerset, Bath, UK

Senior Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £19,775 per annum
Location: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £9.00 per hour
Location: Chesham, Buckinghamshire, UK

Tour Operations Manager

The Football Association
Salary: Competitive
Location: Wembley, UK

Senior Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £23,894 per annum
Location: Crystal Palace, London, UK
lifeguard jobs  swimming teacher jobs  recreation assistant jobs  apprenticeships jobs  personal trainer jobs  Gymnastics Coach jobs  duty manager jobs  assistant manager jobs  general manager jobs  assistant general manager jobs  Catering Assistant jobs  Customer Services Advisor jobs 
More jobs

Video Gallery

Wattbike
The choice of the elite. Wattbike introduced the first true indoor bike in 2008, changing indoor cycling forever. Developed in association with world class coaches and athletes, and now chosen by the world’s premier health clubs, cycling studios, and personal trainers as well as universities, the military, and countless athletes and coaches across the world, Wattbike has truly revolutionised indoor cycling. Want to join our revolution? Power up your business with Wattbike.
Visit website
More videos

Company profile

Company profile: TVS Group
The TVS Group supply and install sports and fitness flooring to a wide range of facilities. We cater for every type of exercise and every level of competition, from recreational to elite level performance.
View full profile >
More company profiles

Featured Supplier

Wattbike remain best-in-class performance bike for David Lloyd Leisure
David Lloyd Leisure has announced Wattbike as its performance bike of choice after a recent tender.
View full details >
More featured suppliers

Diary dates

10-12 Dec 2019
tbc, Fort Lauderdale, United States
21-23 Jan 2020
Harrogate Convention Centre, Harrogate, United Kingdom
28-30 Jan 2020
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
More diary dates