Child safety is important to many especially here at MAC, a few words written about some of the ways we make sure your child is safe
Who’s coaching your child?
A recent question focused on the safety protection of children and sport, specifically the martial arts class or academy. Any sport and in my opinion, martial art in particular, offer children opportunities to grow and develop physically and mentally through regular training that is both stimulating and challenging as well as rewarding.
Martial arts does this particularly well because it allows an individual to develop at their pace but still stay connected to the group and enjoy the benefits of Group training. Martial art is also unique in the fact that it focuses on character education and life skills as part of the curriculum and the student’s development.
Fantastic… but who’s teaching or coaching children in this environment? What are the coaching guidelines and codes of practice? Who sets these guidelines and practice are they internal, passed down through tradition, learnt through repetitive training? And most importantly are they focused on the safety and protection of the children involved. These are critical questions that often get overlooked when looking for a sports or activity for our children to participating in.
Depending on the type of academy or martial arts school that you visit, you may find that it is dedicated to creating fighters, which means a tough and demanding training regime. It may simply be opened by someone who is been awarded their black belt and wants to share the arts with others at the same time as keeping a full -time job making their martial arts teaching a part-time hobby. It may be part of a national governing body or it may have no affiliation at all. It may be mainly competition orientated or it may be a martial art where exactly the same curriculum is taught to a child and to a physically mature adult.
Lets address the elephant in the room… most parents or potential martial arts students will not be informed about any of this! After 20 years of teaching martial arts and being part of the martial arts community the decisions facing parents and new students are different than a few years ago. There is a plethora of information at our finger tips at the touch of a button. The question is – How accurate is this information and who’s validating it, remember the internet is all about freedom of speech, both positive and negative. Whilst there are national governing bodies, regional governing bodies and local martial artists with the highest of intentions and the best of ethics, where is the outside control of standards, especially when it comes to our children? One such mechanism is the Dudley MBC seal for sports coaches.
Seal is a quality assurance and safe guarding mechanism for sports coaches and physical activity providers in Dudley. The criteria are;
- First Aid certificates
- Enhanced disclosure DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service)
- Child protection training
- Self declaration
- Governing body certificates
- Public liability insurance
- Sign up to safer working practise for adults involved in sport and physical activity
Seal is the recognised safeguarding standard for all independent deliverers of sport and physical activity in schools within Dudley authority.
In my opinion, seal is an important independent valuation of your sports provider, whether that is sport in school or outside sport or in our case martial arts in the community. As full-time professional martial artists working with local schools and communities we have a mandatory rule that our instructors and coaches are all seal approved, we believe it’s an important safeguard for the student, the parent and our team.
Martial art can help students reach their potential and challenge them to be the best they can be, we have a duty of care to see that is in a safe, positive environment. We hope you do too…
Any questions please get in touch…