Public Statement : 16th September 2022

SportCheer England Public Statement (16th September 2022)

In light of information coming out of the USA today regarding allegations of abuse in cheerleading, SportCheer England would like to make clear that we take all allegations of abuse very seriously. Information about SportCheer England’s Safeguarding Policy can be found on our website and our procedures for reporting safeguarding concerns and whistleblowing can be found here. At this time we want to make clear that SportCheer England has not received any allegations relating to the cases in the USA, and our response to this situation is based on the public information, as opposed to any known situations here in the UK. SportCheer England encourages everyone to report any concerns they may have, no matter how small or trivial they may appear to be. As per SportCheer England’s Safeguarding procedure, all concerns should in the first instance be reported to your club’s Designated Safeguarding Officer or the police, with any reports concerning a coach, gym owner or professional working in the sport of cheerleading then escalated by your club DSO to SportCheer England via the SCE safeguarding address: scesafeguarding@gmail.com. We recognise that gyms may wish to address the situation with their athletes, parents/ guardians/ carers, volunteers and coaches, and they may wish to signpost them to resources and support. We would also like to advise gyms to prepare appropriately for potential disclosures from athletes, parents/ guardians/ carers, volunteers or coaches, either directly relating to the most recent allegations coming from the USA, or other unrelated allegations. Please find details below: Resources: You can find multiple links to resources and support on the SportCheer England website: https://sportcheerengland.org/safeguarding-resource-hub And further resources on how to talk to children about sensitive topics here: How to have difficult conversations with children: https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/safeguarding-child-protection/how-to-have-difficult-conversations-with-children#heading-top Talking to children about difficult topics: www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/support-for-parents/talking-about-difficult-topics/ We strongly advise that should you intend to speak to your athletes on the topic, you first seek consent from parents/ guardians/ carers and inform them of what the conversation will include, with the option to opt out of the discussion. Set aside a set time to discuss this with athletes rather than an ad hoc conversation, and ensure it is well-planned. This could also be done as an open discussion with parents invited, to allow for consistent messaging. Ensure content for any discussion is age appropriate. For a guide to age appropriate content, please go to: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/ Receiving a disclosure of abuse: If you are a coach or Designated Safeguarding Officer receiving a disclosure of abuse, please follow your club’s Child Protection Policy procedure. For additional information on how to receive and report a disclosure of abuse, please follow the following links: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/reporting-abuse/ https://thecpsu.org.uk/help-advice/deal-with-a-concern/#s