Listen Learn Lead 002

The Whyte Review - A catalyst for lasting improvements across sport

Nicola Dean from the Ann Craft Trust gives the ACT's reaction to Sport England and UK Sport's policy response to the Whyte Review.

Date: 27th Jan 2023

Author: Nicola Dean, Safeguarding Adults in Sport Manager, Ann Craft Trust

The Ann Craft Trust was pleased to read UK Sport and Sport England’s recent Policy Response to the Whyte Review, the independent report which was co-commissioned in 2020 following allegations of abuse and mistreatment in the sport of gymnastics.

The Ann Craft Trust is funded by Sport England, Sport Wales and UK Sport to support National Governing Bodies, Active Partnerships, regional partnerships and sport and activity organisations to develop best practice in safeguarding adults.

The report highlights some of the key work areas that The Ann Craft Trust is prioritising. In particular we support the commitment to creating safe environments and embedding processes for athletes, participants, and families and carers to have a voice. Listening is key to creating safer cultures and there must be clear ways for adults to be a part of the decision-making in their sport or activity.

Good governance is also a focus. This fits with the work that The Ann Craft Trust is undertaking with UK Sport and Sport England funded organisations. We are supporting them to implement best practice in safeguarding adults by undertaking the Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework. Completing the Framework is a mandatory condition of funding for NGBs, Active Partnerships and other sports organisations. We also provide training that we run at Board, Designated Safeguarding Officer and Club level. Last year, we teamed up with the NSPCC's Child Protection in Sport Unit and the SGA to provide guidance and signpost to resources on issues related to safeguarding and welfare.

Finally, it was pleasing to see the role of the local and regional welfare officers being supported by the funding of networks. We know from our contact with clubs and groups the valuable role that welfare officers play in safeguarding adults.

Upon reading the Sports Councils' policy response, our CEO Dr Deborah Kitson said, ‘It is pleasing to see that UK Sport and Sport England view the Whyte Review as a “catalyst for lasting improvement across sport”. Organisational learning, following any review or inquiry, must be acted upon. This policy response highlights that the voice of adults must be at the heart of safeguarding and wellbeing of adults. What are their experiences and what do they want to happen? It is only by listening to their experiences and views and acting on them, and learning from people with lived experiences, that sport and physical activity organisations can become athlete and participant centred’.

For more information on the Ann Craft Trust's #SaferCultureSaferSport campaign, helping to put welfare, safety and wellbeing at the heart of sport and physical activity organisations' values and actions, visit the webpage