LTA wins national award for ‘outstanding contribution to safeguarding’
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The LTA, the national governing body for tennis in Britain, has today won a prestigious national award in recognition of its outstanding safeguarding work in tennis at the inaugural Sacpa Annual Safeguarding Awards.
The LTA were announced as winners of the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Safeguarding’ category by Sacpa (the Safeguarding and Child Protection Association), and were the only sport’s governing body recognised across any of the award category shortlists.
Tennis has led the way for safeguarding in sport in recent years, with the LTA transforming its approach and using best-in-class procedures, systems and processes to safeguard the well-being of all young people and adults at risk in British tennis.
Putting tennis at the forefront of safeguarding in sport
To deliver the work, the LTA recruited safeguarding experts as part of a significantly expanded team - led by the appointment in 2017 of David Humphrey, a former Met Police Detective, as the LTA’s Head of Safeguarding. From the implementation of an initial new three-year strategy in 2018 to the current plans covering 2021-23, among the most significant achievements the LTA has driven have been:
- Introduction of safeguarding standards to 10,000 registered tennis venues across Britain, including adding over 2,000 additional trained welfare officers to its network
- The introduction of the most comprehensive safeguarding audit process in sport, with over 1,000 venues receiving a safeguarding support visit since 2019
- The mandatory introduction of a trained safeguarding officer to every County and Island Association, and the expansion of the support visit process to include County work
- Being selected by Sport England to launch and pilot the innovative ‘Safe to Play’ campaign, which saw 50,000 augmented reality cards circulated to venues and participants across tennis and has resulted in positive changes to coach attitudes around inappropriate behaviours
- Safeguarding training of all LTA colleagues and County committee members, with enhanced sessions for performance and participation (customer facing) colleagues
- Staging the largest safeguarding conference ever held in tennis with over 300 attendees
Alongside the implementation of robust procedures for handling any future safeguarding cases, the LTA also conducted a review of over 600 historic safeguarding cases dating back to 1999 to ensure robust action had been taken in each instance, with the process resulting in further action being taken where it was needed.
As a result of the progress that has been made, tennis is one of only a handful of sports to receive the highest rating of ‘Very Good’ across all five areas of the CPSU’s National Governing Body Safeguarding Framework.
David Humphrey, Head of Safeguarding at the LTA, said: “Nothing is more important to us than the safety and wellbeing of those that take part in our sport, and the extensive measures we now have in place are there to ensure that every young person and adult in tennis can enjoy taking part safely. This award from Sacpa is tremendous recognition for the work that has been done in recent years, and is a reflection of not just what we have done ourselves as the LTA, but also Tennis Scotland, Tennis Wales, and our County & Island Associations, as well as the thousands of venues, coaches, officials and volunteers across the country.
“It is only through the commitment of everyone involved in our sport that we are able to ensure that tennis is at the forefront of safeguarding in sport and it remains safe for all, and so this award really is recognition for everyone who has played a part in the transformational progress we have made”.
The LTA were presented with the award at the Sacpa Annual Safeguarding Awards, which took place as part of Sacpa’s Digital Safeguarding Conference on Wednesday 9 February and were created to celebrate the achievements, hard work, and dedication of individuals and organisations across the world of safeguarding.
The Outstanding Commitment to Safeguarding category specifically recognises the outstanding safeguarding work of an organisation or individual over a significant period of time, with judges looking for those which have clearly demonstrated a strong and proven track record of making a positive difference in safeguarding. The LTA had been shortlisted alongside Evoke Care and Wellington College.
Aileen Kane, Sacpa Director, said: “Safeguarding is a process of continuous improvement; something which needs to keep evolving and be constantly fine tuned to become as effective as it can possibly be. By organising these awards, we wanted to showcase some of the best examples of outstanding safeguarding practice to help all organisations to continue to drive up standards.
“On behalf of the Sacpa team, I’d like to say well done to all of the winners and finalists, and many thanks to everyone who took the time to send us their submissions. We’re delighted with the response to these awards in their debut year, and we’re very much looking forward to holding them again in 2023.”
To find out more about the LTA’s work to develop and implement the highest safeguarding standards across tennis, visit www.lta.org.uk/safeguarding.