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Duty to Care

How can we play their way if children don't feel safe?

The foundation stone of child-first coaching is making sure every child is safe, included and supported – physically and mentally – in sport and physical activity. 

Every coach has a duty to care for the children they support, as the Whyte Review has brought into sharp focus. 

UK Coaching, who are a member of the Children’s Coaching Collaborative (CCC),  have launched a brand-new Duty to Care hub and digital badge. Funded by Sport England, the hub offers a wealth of free and accessible learning opportunities, making it a great foundation for every children’s coach.

Duty to care is the foundation to great coaching.

What is Duty to Care?

Duty to Care is exactly what it sounds like… it’s every coach’s duty to care about and for the children, young people and adults who they coach. The Duty to Care hub from UK Coaching is made up of six key pillars:

  1. Diversity: Providing equality of opportunity without discrimination.
  2. Inclusion: Tailoring delivery to diverse audiences and how you engage and empower people to keep them involved.
  3. Mental Health and Well-being: Supporting psychological and emotional well-being.
  4. Physical Well-being: Encouraging physical activity, healthy habits and recovery to prevent illness and injury.
  5. Safeguarding: Protection from harmful practices in sport and physical activity.
  6. Safe to Practice: Ensuring participant safety and working within the scope of practice.
UK Coaching 6 pillars

UK Coaching has created easy-to-use tools, videos, resources and online learning on their Duty to Care hub. You can earn your free digital badge, explore areas you need most support with, or do a deep dive into the entire hub.

How does it help young people to play their way?

Child-first coaching is underpinned by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. By putting children’s safety, inclusion and well-being at the heart of your practice, you’re following the principles of human rights, including the right to protection from violence and the right not to face discrimination.

My coach cares about me.

Duty to Care is the foundation of great coaching; a foundation we can build upon to ensure children also have the Right to be Heard and the Right to Play. When you create a safe space for children and young people in your sessions, you can encourage their voices, give them real choices as to how they play and empower them to shape their own sporting journey.

As coaches, we’re all on a journey when it comes to child-first coaching. Duty to Care can be a helpful step forward in putting children’s rights and voices at the heart of our practice.

Other resources you may like...

Group of young people with their hands in a hand stack.

Duty to Care Hub

The UK Coaching Duty to Care Hub will equip coaches with the knowledge and skills to provide great coaching experiences to others, as well as support coaches to begin to better look after themselves.

Coach with basketball players

Earn your Digital Badge

Complete the six Knowledge Checks and collect the six pieces of learning for each pillar to demonstrate your thorough knowledge of the principles of Duty to Care and earn our nationally-recognised Digital Badge.

A group of very small children are sat on the ground whilst their coaches talk to them

Child-First, Whatever the Age

Tots Coaching are testament to the fact that the Play Their Way principles of Voice, Choice and Journey can be harnessed to coach even the youngest of children, ensuring their first impressions of sport and physical activity are healthy, enjoyable and holistic – giving them a foundation to continue being active from one to 100.


Help spread the word by sharing this website with fellow coaches!


Help spread the word by sharing this website with fellow coaches!