English football is uniting this weekend, 30th September to 1st October 2023, to emphasise the importance of safeguarding in our national game through the FA's Play Safe campaign, endorsed by the NSPCC. Every level of English football, from the Premier League to grassroots, is showing support for this initiative.
The core message of this year's Play Safe campaign is clear: safeguarding is everyone's responsibility, including coaches, players, parents, spectators, and volunteers. The Play Safe Pledge encourages clubs and leagues to commit to safeguarding during the Play Safe weekend, with visible symbols like armbands and badges.
Mark Bullingham, FA Chief Executive, emphasises the importance of a safe and positive football experience for all. Support for Play Safe extends to the NSPCC and the FA’s Survivor Support and Safeguarding Advisory Group (FASSSAG).
Michelle North, Service Head of the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU), said: “Children and young people have a right to enjoy all sports including football with the confidence they will be safe. Everyone involved in sport has a role to play in preventing abuse, and so we’re pleased The FA is putting a spotlight on safeguarding in football through the Play Safe weekend, which runs ahead of our own Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week from the 3rd to the 9th October.
The FA’s Head of Safeguarding, Sue Ravenlaw, said: "The Play Safe campaign has been instrumental in helping us raise awareness for safeguarding across English football. It was very well supported last year, with over one million people reached through some truly innovative activations by many leagues and clubs. Together, with all the football family and the NSPCC, we want to build on that success, and we are encouraging anyone in football to take our Play Safe Pledge to support the campaign. Another of our key targets is for 100,000 people to take part in our free online Safeguarding Awareness Course for Parents and Carers by the end of 2024. The feedback that we’ve received from parents and carers is that the course is excellent, so we hope everyone will take the short time it takes to complete it."
To support Play Safe, digital and print resources have been distributed widely, encouraging participation from all corners of English football so you'll probably see them in and around your club and your games over the weekend.
Play Safe Pin Badge & Captain's Armband
The Play Safe campaign unites English football in prioritising safeguarding. It's a collective effort to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for children and young people in football.
#PlaySafe #ChildrensFootball #LetThemPlay