1. What was the motivation behind joining Sport Resolutions’ panel as a specialist member?
I joined the panel when it was first established. I was aware that many sports didn’t have the necessary resources and or skills/experience to respond appropriately to safeguarding matter and I wanted to assist in anyway I could.
2. Has your professional experience prior to joining SR had an impact on the manner in which you approach sport disputes/matters?
Yes, it certainly has. My professional career was in policing. I had a specialist interest in public protection matters and in particular I find the aspect of supporting victims most rewarding. I have found that many disputes within sport may not reach the threshold of criminal activity but the impact on the individuals involved is just as distressing. It is therefore important for the response from sport to be robust, professional and fair to all.
3. In your role as National Safeguarding Panel member, you are called upon to deal with very sensitive matters. What are some of the challenges involved in the resolution of safeguarding matters?
There are many challenges.Not least managing the expectations of all sides which includes the NGB, complainants and those subject to the complaint.Invariably there is a huge time pressure to complete enquiries and whilst it is in everyone’s interest to progress matters as quickly as possible the investigation process is not by its very nature a ‘quick fix’. balancing the needs of each party whilst ensuring thoroughness and fairness is a real challenge.
In cases involving high profile athletes/sports maintaining confidentiality within the media has also been a challenge.
4. What do you enjoy the most about being a SR specialist member?
I feel privileged to get the opportunity to work with professionals from a diverse range of expertise. I have met so many people involved in a wide range of sports. Young athletes, parents, para athletes, coaches and specialist staff.Hearing their life stories, sacrifice and determination to succeed has been inspirational.
I also love researching and learning about different sports that I knew nothing about before working with them.
5. Any key developments and issues in the safeguarding world to watch in 2019?
A key issue is the challenge for sport to dedicate the appropriate level of resources to take a proactive approach to safeguarding.Prevention should be a key strategic objective.
I would like to see the development of sport being recognised as more of a professional partner alongside statutory organisations.
6. Do you have any favourite sport(s)?
I enjoy watching all sport in particular football. However I enjoy playing golf and swimming.
7. Any advice for individuals looking to get involved in the field?
Initially consider seeking opportunities to act in a volunteer capacity. Many sports would welcome valuable expertise for example on strategic case management groups/trustees or club welfare officers at local club level.
Carol ChamberlainSpecialist Member
Carol retired as a senior police officer in 2008. Since that date she has acted as an independent consultant within the sport sector. She has been commissioned by many National Governing Body’s to undertake a variety of roles including; conducting safeguarding reviews and investigations, delivering training, and acting as a specialist safeguarding disciplinary panel member.
Carol currently provides advice and guidance to Badminton England, is a member of the safeguarding support team for the FA Premier Football League and has recently been appointed as the Director of Governance for the Cheshire County Ladies Golf association.