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A newly published report commissioned by the UK government and led by 11-time Paralympic gold medallist Baroness Grey-Thompson regarding athlete’s welfare in sports was published recently. The independent report, aimed at improving the welfare of athletes is the result of a year long study of the duty of care review, and comes after a spate of scandals in the athletic world revolving around bullying and poor treatment of athletes in several sports.

“Recent media reports and anecdotal evidence from across a range of sports has led to questions about whether welfare and safety really are being given the priority they deserve,” said Baroness Grey-Thompson.

Baroness Grey-Thompson led the independent report

“The sector is arguably under more scrutiny than ever before, with allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse in football, and accusations of a culture of bullying in some sports. At a time of success for British sport in terms of medals, championships and profile, this raises challenging questions about whether the current balance between welfare and winning is right and what we are prepared to accept as a nation. Questions are being asked about the price being paid for success. It is clear that the drive for success and desire to win should not be at the cost of the individuals involved.”

Our Managing Director, Jenny Patrickson also adds “At Active IQ, we were very interested to read Baroness Grey-Thompson’s independent report to Government on Duty of Care in Sport. We particularly welcome her comments on equality and diversity training, including unconscious bias training, and her recommendations that this training should be mandatory in all of the new training pathways being developed by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA). Active IQ will continue its collaborative work with CIMSPA to ensure that both new and existing qualifications align to the recommendations made by the report in this area.”

The recommendations made in this report aim to improve both the physical and mental health of all athletes. In addition to changes relating to safety, the report recommends new ways to improve mental welfare:

  • Awareness of mental health issues should be embedded throughout sport and physical activity across all levels
  • The government should ensure mental health training for all coaches and physical activity professionals is introduced
  • As understanding of Duty of Care should be included in all leadership training in sport and physical training
  • Equality and diversity training, including unconscious bias training, should be mandatory in all of the new CIMSPA training pathways and be a requirement for all NGB athlete-facing staff.

If these recommendations are put into effect, future sports qualifications will also potentially need to adapt to be able to meet the new skills requirements.

Active IQ’s qualifications have always taken into consideration duty of care in physical activity, and this is reflected in the content of our courses. In particular our new Level 3 Award in Designing Programmes for Disabled Clients qualification, which covers the skills required to effectively communicate with those who have disabilities, as well as ways to design exercise programmes that are effective and safe whilst taking into consideration the an individual’s abilities.

Active IQ regularly updates its qualifications to reflect changes and new approaches in industry. Learners who undertake a qualification with Active IQ will always have the skills needed to face new challenges that may arise. This is reflected in our updated Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training qualification, which contains new modules that teach trainers how to encourage healthier lifestyles and understand medical conditions, whilst also including a focus on soft skills and enhanced communication which are essential for effective and successful personal trainers.

If you are interested in either of these Active IQ qualifications or want to learn more on how to become an approved centre with us, please email us: businessdevelopment@activeiq.co.uk

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