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Children Need To Be Protected In Sports Activities

The ‘Protection of Children and Young People in Sport’ was the subject of a debate, promoted by the Regional Directorate of Sport, as part of its training plan for 2024, in collaboration with the IPDJ – Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth and the Social Security Institute of Madeira (ISSM).

The initiative took place in the auditorium of the Rectory of the University of Madeira, at the Jesuit College, with speakers Raquel Albino from IPDJ, national coordinator of the Council of Europe Project ‘Child Safeguarding in Sport’ and Paula Mesquita, regional coordinator of the ISSM Regional Plan for Children and Youth, and was moderated by the ambassador of the National Plan for Ethics in Sport, Carlos León.

“In this day and age, it shouldn’t be important for all of us responsible to discuss the safety of children, something that should be natural. In fact, we should not even be debating this. For all intents and purposes, we see that today the challenges of society, not only in sport, but also in this plan, is an emerging theme and something that we must share some concerns in order to always safeguard the safety of our young people,” defended the regional director of Sport, David Gomes.

Reinforcing the role of sport in the training process, but also leaving some suggestions and reflections for debate, he stressed that “sport is a school of values that wants to be pure, as is our sporting, training and educational school.”

“We cannot accept that children do not feel this security,” he stressed, recalling phenomena such as “sports bullying” and “the pressure that family members exert on young people.”

“We all have to be aware of behaviours that are harmful to the training process. Today, we have reached the point where we so often have to protect young practitioners from their own families, which is nonsense. Where children and young adults are concerned, we have to be attentive to everything and everyone around us,” he concluded.

Samantha Gannon

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