Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Masterclass to Address Online Dangers to Children

“Events like this are invaluable. It’s a good forum to mix with a range of people involved in young people’s lives to keep updated and share good practice." Eilidh McCall-Lawrie, Child Protection Lead for Scottish Swimming

Online bullying, inappropriate online relationships and grooming are just some of the risks facing children who take part in organised sports says charity CHILDREN 1ST.

And today, on Safer Internet Day (10 February), the charity’s Safeguarding in Sport service is urging clubs to ensure they’re informed of the dangers by offering free places to their upcoming Social Media Masterclass.

“By keeping in the loop on trends and risks online, coaches are in a better position to support the children and young people they work with in sport,” said Campbell Bell, manager of the advice and resource service.

“Experts from the UK Safer Internet team will lead the event and give us a good insight into where online risks lie. They’ll help us think about the issues that might crop up and share the latest social media trends and developments amongst children and young people. With more organisations developing social media policies, this is timely and useful information.”

Eilidh McCall-Lawrie, Child Protection Lead for Scottish Swimming, agreed. She said: “We’re increasingly dealing with incidents arising from social media use – anything from bullying to inappropriate use of modern technology in changing rooms.

“Modern technology gives us great opportunities – it can help with education, information, as well as helping with coaching or organising events – but it must be used responsibility in order to protect children.

“Events like this are invaluable. It’s a good forum to mix with a range of people involved in young people’s lives to keep updated and share good practice.  They also help us ensure our guidelines for clubs are relevant and effective. If children are safe in sport they can concentrate on having fun and that’s what it’s all about.”

The Social Media Masterclass will take place on March 10 at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena at Ratho. Places are limited. For more information or to make a free booking email safeguardinginsport@children1st.org.uk or call 0141 418 5674 by Friday, February 27.

Safeguarding in Sport is a partnership between CHILDREN 1ST and sportscotland.  

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