Tennis to harness augmented reality for safeguarding awareness campaign
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Tennis to harness augmented reality for safeguarding awareness campaign

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The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is embracing augmented reality (AR) to help keep those involved in sport safe.

A new nationwide safeguarding campaign, called Safe to Play, will see all LTA-registered venues being provided with pocket-sized cards to distribute to their members – including all players and the parents of younger players.

The AR cards will act as pocket reminder guides which, when scanned using the camera of a smartphone or tablet, will deliver a range of engaging digital resources.

The concent has been designed to ensure that all parents, players and coaches are aware of the signs of abuse, how to report a concern and how to keep themselves, children and at-risk adults safe.

Among the content is a dramatised video telling one family’s story of abuse in sport, a range of video guides on how to identify the signs of abuse, top tips on how to stay safe in sport, questions to ask when selecting a coach and a quiz to help drive awareness.

In parallel to the distribution of the AR cards, every LTA-accredited coach will be directly sent a card containing safeguarding information relevant to their role, real-life case studies and the ability to report a concern to a safeguarding expert at the LTA at the click of a button.

The campaign – which is being delivered in partnership with Sport England – will be supported by a dedicated website, as well as the delivery of a series of ‘Safe to Play’ training and awareness events for venue welfare officers, parents and players throughout 2020.

"Nothing is more important than the safety and wellbeing of those involved in our sport," said David Humphrey, head of safeguarding at the LTA.

"We have made significant progress over the last few years with tennis now at the forefront of safeguarding in sport. However, abuse can happen anywhere and at any time, and working with Sport England to lead and test an innovative campaign like Safe to Play demonstrates our commitment to helping prevent abuse from happening."

The LTA was selected by Sport England to pilot the Safe to Play campaign in a sports setting, and if successful the project could be rolled out further, with the website and campaign structure designed to be transferrable to other sports.

Alexandra Moore, head for children and young people at Sport England, added: “Safe to Play aims to highlight the role everyone involved in sport – parents, players, coaches and volunteers – can play in protecting our children and young people; raising awareness of safeguarding to ensure everyone so that anyone taking part engages in sport and physical activity has a positive experience."

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