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Sport Needs To Be Safe Space For Children, Says Mosimane

Sport Needs To Be Safe Space For Children, Says Mosimane..  Fresh from his CAF Champions League final disappointment in Morocco on Monday, where they lost 2-0 to Wydad Casablanca, Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane took part in the Women & Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) one-year anniversary feedback session in Sandton on Wednesday.

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Sport Needs To Be Safe Space For Children, Says Mosimane

 

Mosimane was one of the keynote speakers during the sessions.

It has been a year since the WMACA undertook to safeguard children in sports and their anniversary coincides with Child Protection Week 2022.

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The WMACA’s mission is to create safe spaces for all children in SA, with a special focus on creating sporting environments that nurture children.

Mosimane said as a father of three children involved in sports, it was important that they were safe in the sporting environment.

“I’m proud to be associated with the organisation such as this one against child abuse,” Mosimane told the media.

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“This is the first organisation in SA that is run by survivors of abuse who are providing support to families. As a coach I’m very aware of the responsibility that we have as the sporting community and most importantly the responsibility that I have as a coach.

“I feel ashamed as coach, to be honest, because the lives of young people that have been entrusted to us, and as much as we are there to coach and teach athletes to become the best, we also need to empower them to stand up for themselves,” he said.

“As a father of three children who are active in sport, I know how crucial it is that they always succeed in sport but they also have to be safe in the environment that they are in.

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“It is also important for me to have these conversations on a regular basis.”

Luke Lamprecht, child protection and development specialist, said they had experienced situations where abuse was not reported because sports bodies handled matters in-house and were failing the victims.

“We have attended parliamentary hearings against Netball SA and Swimming SA where it emerged leadership lied under oath relating to child abuse,” he said.

“We have trained schools and coaches, and despite facing systemic challenges, we have walked with victims who are brave enough to take on the system. We commend them tremendously.

“Relying on state systems in SA is frustrating for us as child protection specialists and adults. We constantly have to assist victims with the components of investigations that should be handled by the SAPS. We have learnt that these departments still require extensive training and must be sensitised to child abuse.

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“We take on this journey because we understand children find themselves navigating abuse, blinded by their experiences and without support.

“We are inviting you to revisit with us our initial commitment as a protector of children in sport; to share with us our celebration of victories and to engage us in the processes we have undertaken to safeguard children, challenge entities that fail children. Take professionals who fail to report abuse to task [using the hashtag] #shameonyou.

“We continue to fight for children who have been silenced by abuse in sport.”

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