A message from British Judo Safeguarding Manager, Keith Eldridge:
Many of you will now know of me or will have spoken to me but, for those that haven’t, I am Keith Eldridge, the British Judo Association Safeguarding Manager, a role I have performed for the last 5 years. I am ably assisted in this by Emma Reid at our Head Office in Great Barr and Eleanor Cantwell, our Performance Welfare Officer, who is based at our Centre of Excellence in Walsall.
I have been a judoka for over 45 years and I am currently a 2nd Dan. I have competed extensively and I have been an examiner and a club coach. I have a background in policing and I chaired the BJA Complaints and Conduct Panel for 14 years until standing down last year.
I am often asked what ‘safeguarding’ means and, for me, it simply means, keeping people safe whilst they partake in judo. That means carrying out checks on people such as coaches, Club Welfare Officers and some other volunteers that fulfil the criteria. I am also responsible for updating our safeguarding policies and I liaise with the police and social services when necessary.
We are also here to give advice on a whole range of areas that help you to reduce risk or help you deal with a problem in relation to Safeguarding.
Our ‘SafeLandings’ is our Safeguarding manual and includes our policies and procedures for all Safeguarding matters and has been fully approved by the NSPCC.
All clubs, coaches and Club Welfare Officers should follow the policies within ‘SafeLandings’ and efforts to gain ClubMark should also follow them.
Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts
Sport England have recently launched the ‘Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts’ in consultation with Martial Arts National Governing Bodies including the BJA.
We are a member of the Safeguarding in Martial Arts Working Group and have assisted in writing this policy which is intended as a starting point for many Martial Arts NGBs in gaining a step on the Safeguarding Framework ladder.
The BJA has already achieved the Advanced Standard of the Safeguarding Framework and all BJA member clubs should be looking to follow ‘SafeLandings’ in relation to Safeguarding needs.
Other useful information
Another really useful resource is the Child Protection in Sport Unit (part of the NSPCC) and their library of articles can be found here:- http://www.thecpsu.org.uk/resource-library/ For vulnerable adults as well as children, the Ann Craft Trust have some useful articles here:- https://www.anncrafttrust.org/research/publications/
Both sites also give you the opportunity to sign up to regular newsletters.
If there is any area of policy that you think needs looking at, please let me know? I am currently working on a new policy for transgender athletes and would welcome any thoughts you might have?
I can be contacted anytime, not just in office hours, either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 07788-391520.
Keith Eldridge BJA Safeguarding Manager