Today (January 16th, 2023) UK Sport and Sport England have published their policy response to the Whyte Review, outlining 19 commitments to improve the safeguarding and wellbeing of everyone involved in sport.
Having supported over 280 victims and their families affected by abuse and mistreatment in gymnastics, the British Elite Athletes Association is encouraged by these intentions to progress the sporting environment for everyone.
We particularly welcome the commitment to ensure athletes have greater input into high-performance policy development and operation through our continued advocacy work.
The Whyte Review marked a new chapter for sport, so we look forward to working alongside UK Sport and Sport England to help develop practical steps and policies in the coming months.
You can read the full list of commitments below.
UK Sport and Sport England’s policy response to the Whyte Review
1) UK Sport and Sport England (Joint) – Ensure that an independent representative body is created for coaches which provides them with leadership, representation, and support. We will consult all relevant stakeholders as we develop this body.
2) Joint – Working with The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport & Physical Activity (CIMSPA), and its Professional Standards for coaches, better structure the career path of modern coaches, underpinned by a broader curriculum incorporating non-technical skills such as self-awareness, empathy, and listening, which complement NGB processes.
3) Joint – In partnership with CIMSPA and National Governing Bodies of Sport, we will develop a national registration scheme for sports coaches which will include what qualifications they have completed and their suitability for work in specific roles. Acknowledging that this is a complex piece of work, requiring significant input and cooperation from sports, other physical activities and individuals, this will be piloted with a smaller group initially to ensure that it is sustainable and practical for the long term.
4) Sport England – Continue to support and promote the Children’s Coaching Collaborative (CCC) a group of people and organisations who are working together already, focusing on providing positive experiences as well as listening to the voices of children and young people. This includes the soon to be launched ‘Play Their Way’ Campaign which focuses on supporting coaches to sustain the participation of children through a more inclusive approach.
Performance athlete support
5) UK Sport – Ensure athletes have greater input into high-performance policy development and operation, through the advocacy of the British Elite Athletes Association (BEAA).
6) UK Sport – Ensure that every funded high- performance programme has appropriately integrated athlete voice and representation in its decision-making structures.
7) UK Sport – Athletes, and parents and carers, receive a comprehensive and holistic induction: i) on to; ii) exit from; and iii) life in a high-performance programme, and are signposted to support before, during, and beyond their time in that programme.
8) Joint – Ensure all ‘Tier 3’ categorised organisations – defined as those Sport England and/or UK Sport fund with significant public investment – continue to meet the requirements of the Code for Sports Governance, including the need to appoint a director to take a Board lead on welfare and safety work. Further guidance and material will be developed to support organisations to fulfil and embed this requirement.
9) Joint– Continue to develop the Code for Sports Governance, to ensure national governing bodies have effective policies and procedures, that are easy to follow, audience appropriate, and set out acceptable standards of conduct and the associated processes for resolving disputes at all levels.
10) Joint – Review the safeguarding standards and assurance processes used by sport to ensure they are effective in i) guiding the provision of a safe environment for athletes and participants; and ii) providing assurance to funding organisations.
11) UK Sport-Review and rationalise UK Sport’s assurance processes, including the development of a new framework to guide its assessment of sports’ plans and provision to ‘win well’.
12) UK Sport – Review how capacity and capability can be optimised (and increased where required) across funded high- performance programmes, to enhance access to expert executive advice for safeguarding and integrity.
13) UK Sport – All sports in receipt of UK Sport funding will be required to use Sport Integrity, the new independent disclosure and investigations service, to investigate allegations of bullying, discrimination, harassment, or abuse in high-performance programmes.
14) Sport England – Continue to develop the Safeguarding Case Management Programme in partnership with Sport Resolutions UK and the LimeCulture Community Interest Company. Launched in 2019 to help sporting organisations access expert support in relation to safeguarding concerns and referrals, the programme is now offering support to 43 National Governing Bodies.
Safer environments for participants/ensuring they have a voice
15) UK Sport – Consult on the participation of U18 and Adults at Risk in the highest levels of senior international high-performance sport, and the options available to policy makers to ensure a safe environment is provided
16) UK Sport – Undertake research to explore the relationship between funding and medal targets, and athlete experience.
17) UK Sport – Enhance guidance for parents, carers, and wider support networks, to ensure a clear articulation of their and the sport’s role and responsibilities in supporting high-performance athletes.
18) Sport England – Ensure sporting organisations engage with individuals and groups with lived experience of abuse in sport. Led by Sport England’s Advisory Panel, a suite of resources will be developed to support this work.
19) Sport England – Fund a national network of local and regional welfare officers who will work with National Governing Bodies of Sport and their network of local clubs to promote good practice and safe sport on a local level. We will pilot different delivery models to determine which one is most effective.View our services >