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Augmented reality used in tennis safeguarding campaign

Safe to Play aims to educate parents, coaches and players about safeguarding in sport

11th October 2019

coach handing a child a tennis ball

We’ve partnered with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to launch an innovative safeguarding awareness campaign that uses augmented reality technology to help keep those involved in sport safe.

In order to recognise and report a safeguarding issue it is paramount that all parents, coaches and players are aware of the signs of abuse.

The ‘Safe to Play’ campaign will see all LTA registered venues provided with pocket-sized cards to distribute to their members – including parents and players.

These cards will employ augmented reality to act as pocket reminders by providing a range of engaging digital resources.

The cards, when scanned by a smartphone or tablet, will call up an augmented reality overlay on top of whatever is behind the card.

“Our job is to support more people of all ages and backgrounds to regularly take part in sport and physical activity,” said our head of children and young people, Alexandra Moore.

“Ensuring that people feel safe when they get active is fundamental in achieving our goals and that’s why we’ve partnered with the LTA, the National Working Group (NWG) and the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) on this innovative awareness campaign. 

“Safe to Play aims to highlight the role everyone involved in sport – parents, players, coaches and volunteers – can play in protecting our children and young people; raising awareness of safeguarding to ensure everyone taking part in sport and physical activity has a positive experience.”

The card will allow users to select from a dramatised video telling one family’s story of abuse in sport, video guides on how to identify the signs of abuse, top tips on how to stay safe in sport, questions to ask when selecting a coach and a quiz to help drive awareness.

Our job is to support more people of all ages and backgrounds to regularly take part in sport and physical activity

Alexandra Moore

our head of children and young people

These resources will also be housed on a dedicated Safe to Play website, with LTA accredited coaches also being sent a card that contains safeguarding information relevant to their role, real life case studies and the ability to report a concern to an LTA safeguarding expert at the touch of a button.

“Nothing is more important than the safety and wellbeing of those involved in our sport,” said the LTA's head of safeguarding, David Humphrey.

“We have made significant progress over the last few years with tennis now at the forefront of safeguarding in sport.

“However, abuse can happen anywhere and at any time, and working with Sport England to lead and test an innovative campaign like Safe to Play demonstrates our commitment to helping prevent abuse from happening.”

In addition to the augmented reality cards and dedicated website, the campaign will include a series of Safe to Play training and awareness events for welfare officers, parents and players throughout 2020.

The LTA have been chosen by us to pilot Safe to Play in a sports setting, ahead of a potential rollout in other sport and physical activity settings.

The NSPCC’s CPSU, whom we fund, have been consulted in the campaign’s development – as have the NWG, who help develop communications utilising augmented reality for parents in the sport and physical activity sector.

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