Following an 18 month review held in conjunction with the Gibraltar Sports Advisory Council (GSAC) the Minister for Sport, Steven Linares has announced changes in the registration criteria for voluntary sports associations, commercial fitness groups and leisure providers.

Many of the changes relate to funding mechanisms which now mean that there is greater accountability from both the associations/fitness groups etc and the Gibraltar Sports and Leisure Authority who administers the recommendations from GSAC. However, the major changes are specific to Safeguarding and Protecting Children and Young people

Minister Linares added that “the setting up of the Executive Committee for Child Protection by the previous Minister for Tourism, Housing, Equality and Social Services, the Hon. Samantha Sacramento which has been continued by Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Hon. Neil Costa has meant that policy decisions have been accelerated with many of these already been actioned by many organisations. The GSLA’s CEO Reagan Lima has already contacted and met with the registered sports associations and informed them of the changes and the new criteria that need to be met by the next registration process scheduled for late September 2017. The feedback I have received is positive and associations understand and accept their responsibilities with many already ahead of the game”.

The new criteria include the vetting of all coaches working with children and young adults by the Royal Gibraltar Police or the individual’s country of origin. Safeguarding Training is also another requirement with associations also having to nominate a Welfare Officer who must have undergone the Care Agency’s Tier 1 Training.

Minister Linares continued saying “Whilst there will be an initial transitional period where the GSLA will work with all stakeholders the safety and well-being of our children is not negotiable therefore enforcement of these changes will take place and regular spot checks will be conducted. However, given the professionalism and dedication of our sports associations I do not envisage any problems”.