As part of the European project, “Keeping Children Safe in Sport,” a round table was organized in Bucharest. This was an opportunity for partners to discuss the way forward and best solutions. The project aims to improve standards of child protection in sport and has been implemented across Europe by the Terre des hommes Country Offices in Romania, Greece and Hungary. “Keeping Children Safe in Sport” is funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union.
At a round table held in February 2021, the main project partners in Romania, invited by Terre des hommes, took part:
- the National Authority for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Children and Adoptions, represented by Ms. Adina Codres, Senior Advisor
- the Romanian Gymnastics Federation, represented by President Carmencita Constantin
- the Romanian Football[KA1] Federation, represented by Florin Sari, Corporate Social Responsibility and Good Governance Manager
There was also interest from:
- the Ministry of Youth and Sport, represented by Undersecretary of State Cristian Ghita;
- the School and University Sports Federation, represented by Director Claudia Georgescu;
- the Romanian Handball Federation, represented by Mr. Iulian Stamate;
- the Dinamo Handball Academy, represented by Mr. Dan Savenco; and
- members of the other participating sports associations and clubs (School Sports Club 2, Steaua School Sports Club, ASMSPT, the Triumph Olympic Sports Club, Cetate Deva School Sports Club, and the Cluj University Club[KA2] ).
Participating members from Terre des hommes included Tudor Roşu, Head of the Eastern European Delegation; Laura Sava-Ghica, Deputy Director for Romania; and Cristina Vladescu, Project Manager.
The following topics were discussed:
- the concept of safeguarding as a working practice for creating a safe space
- support materials developed within the project, especially the Safeguarding Policy. Sports clubs throughout the country will be encouraged to adopt this policy, which should be seen as an operational guide to be integrated into the mandatory regulations.
- future steps to be taken for the project, in particular, clarifying the certification criteria for clubs. One of the objectives of the “Keeping Children Safe in Sport” Project is to develop a methodology for quality certification, which will then be offered to sports federations and clubs that comply with child safety standards and policies.
It was further discussed that the National Training and Development Centre should be involved in certification procedures.
Participants agreed that among the most important certification criteria were:
- training with coaches (already occurring nationwide within the project)
- adopting guidelines (Safeguarding Policy)
- improving the criteria for hiring coaches and other sports professionals
- ensuring there are resource people at sports clubs, who can guide and protect children, who feel at risk or who have questions
The representative of the Romanian Handball Federation mentioned that it would be useful for sports professionals to have ongoing training, perhaps even while they are at university. The Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Youth and Sport suggested extending partnerships to include the ministry.
“Keeping Children Safe in Sport” is a pilot project that seeks to develop and promote child safeguarding policies in sport and recreational settings in Romania and Greece. Safeguarding policies are considered extremely important and necessary because they aim to protect children and youth involved in sport, protect the integrity of sports organizations and promote the values of sport.
The “Keeping Children Safe in Sport” Project has been implemented by the Terre des hommes Country Offices in Romania, Greece and Hungary. It is funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union.