Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw has highlighted the importance of appropriate child protection arrangements in sporting clubs.
Ms Bradshaw said: “In the Assembly I asked the Communities Minister Paul Givan about the arrangements in place to ensure investigation of historical sex abuse allegations in sports clubs can be thoroughly undertaken. I also asked the Minister if he would provide the resources to ensure additional child protection training for sports coaches working with children and vulnerable adults.
“It is reassuring that the Minister confirmed that to date no-one locally has come forward with any issues. I also welcome the Minister’s comment that he would be open to considering requests for funding for additional child protection training if issues did arise. However, it would be preferable to put additional arrangements in place now, rather than wait until something arises and urgent action is needed.
“Across Northern Ireland there are hundreds of sporting clubs and thousands of coaches providing a professional, caring and safe environment where children are introduced to sport. Most of those clubs and coaches operate in a voluntary capacity and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude. It is important they are given the tools to continue to provide that safe environment.”