SAINT LUCIA, Castries :Efforts to foster a more child friendly environment in the local sporting community will take a step forward this weekend with the start of a new initiative by the Sacred Sports Foundation.
As part of an ambitious programme to assist with the training and development of coaches and youth mentors, the workshop will seek to enhance local understanding of current child safeguarding practices. The Foundation is increasing its efforts to protect local youth from potentially harmful situations and has joined forces with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office of the British High Commission to organise the programme.
“We take our responsibility to adolescents extremely seriously and believe this programme is of vital importance to all of St. Lucia,” said Nova Alexander, the Foundation’s Executive Director. “A number of community leaders and interested parties have been invited to participate in the training activities, which will help equip them with the latest thinking on the subject of child safeguarding and provide valuable skills not just for us but the wider community.”
The two day workshop will take place between October 2nd and 3rd at the Palm Haven Hotel in Rodney Bay for selected attendees. The training the trainers workshop forms part of Sacred Sports Foundation’s new Female Sports Diplomacy and Child Safeguarding programme aimed at encouraging more females to work with adolescents in physical activities and assisting coaches, teachers and volunteers in improving their understanding and education in regard to appropriate child safeguarding practices.
A key element of the programme will be to assist with the establishment of a new SafeStamp registry, a programme to register coaches and volunteers working in the physical activity arena. The training workshop will be delivered by Caribbean Sports and Development Agency director Mark Mungal, as part of a partnership agreement with Sacred Sports Foundation.
The workshop will see participants from a number of organisations from several areas around St. Lucia participate in the interactive sessions. These latest efforts follow a number of child safeguarding activities carried out by the Foundation as part of its Beyond Us Football for Hope initiative and youth training activities.
The aim is to assist with the registration of local coaches and youth mentors on the SafeStamp registry, which was put together by CSDA with assistance from UNICEF. The registry requires coaches undertake a records check, provide coaching certification and undertake child safeguarding awareness training.
SSF’s youth mentors have already undertaken safeguarding training and are being assisted to meet the SafeStamp scheme requirements to enable them to work more effectively on its community mentoring programmes with adolescents .