safe sport day image of children swimming

Loughborough research helps protect 50 million young people in sport

Research conducted by Loughborough University has assisted global sports organisations in keeping over 50 million young people safe when playing sport.

The project, led by Dr Daniel Rhind from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS), has shaped the support offered by The International Safeguards for Children in Sport to its worldwide sporting partners.

This includes safeguarding guidance that is designed to inform organisations to work to prevent neglect, as well as emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. This extends to:

  • Establishing a safeguarding policy
  • What to do if you are worried about a child
  • Providing advice and support to children and staff
  • Understanding and addressing risk
  • Agreeing what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour
  • Safely recruiting and training staff
  • Sharing safeguarding with partners

Institutions benefitting from Dr Rhind’s research include the International Netball Federation; FIFA; World Rugby; Manchester City FC; Manchester United FC; Centre for Sport and Human Rights (Switzerland); Peace Players International (USA); ASA Foundation (Indonesia); Paralympics Australia; TackleAfrica; and Sport for Change (Ethiopia).

Organisations from around the world have also taken the pledge to work towards the International Safeguards and these collectively work with over 50 million children.

To mark this on-going commitment and to raise further awareness of the importance of safeguarding children in sport, Safe Sport Day is celebrated on the 8th of August each year.

"High profile cases and a growing body of empirical evidence demonstrate that abusive relationships occur within sport,” Dr Rhind explained.

“We are well aware that safeguarding is a journey rather than a destination and that we still have a long way to go to create safer sport for all children around the world. Nonetheless, we are proud to see that Safe Sport Day is celebrating the progress that has been made and how it is showcasing how our research continues to have global impact.”  

Ann Tiivas OBE, Chair & Trustee of Safe Sport International and the International Safeguards Advisory Board, said: “The research by Dr Daniel Rhind at Loughborough University has been fundamental to the development, implementation and evaluation of the International Safeguards for Children in Sport.

“It continues to ensure that the Safeguards and the accompanying resources are evidence-based. The ever-increasing engagement from organisations all around the world demonstrates the value of this research in helping to create safe sport for more and more children worldwide.”

Dr Rhind has also been appointed as the co-chair of Safe Sport International’s working group and is part of the organising team of the upcoming Safe Sport International Conference to be held in London between September 18th-20th later this year.

Further details can be found by visiting: and for more information on Safer Sport Day, visit:

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 23/124

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2023 QS World University Rankings – the seventh year running – and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2023, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2023 and 11th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.
Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.