In Focus: How Teamworks Helps Safeguard Players
Safeguarding athletes has never been more top-of-mind for sports teams. While new Safeguarding roles have been created, those people need the right tools to effectively do their jobs. Teamworks provides a safe, secure, and centralized hub for all safeguarding procedures, processes, and systems that a club can rely on to act quickly if the need arises.
The information and documentation required to safeguard players in a standardized and effective way is usually scattered across various platforms, including WhatsApp, texts, emails, and more. Because these aren’t specifically designed for team communication, messages can be missed or ignored, documents misplaced, and data overlooked. Finding certain details and compiling reports requires a time-consuming search that pulls staff members away from other responsibilities, complicates audits, and reduces the timeliness of the club’s response if there is an issue.
Teamworks, the Operating System for Sports™, solves these issues by creating an integrated safeguarding solution with the combination of Hub and Pulse. This centralizes all player-related matters in one platform to protect players and coaches, reduce liability risk, and ensure regulatory compliance.
Overseeing Communication with Centralized Messaging
“All of our communication is done through Teamworks. Nobody makes phone calls or sends text messages or separate emails. I’m able to go in, review all the messages, and see that everyone is complying.”
– Valentina Galvis Gallego, Academy Administrator, Nashville SC
Hub provides a single, centralized platform so the club has total control, oversight, and access to all conversations. This provides full visibility, accountability, and transparency and enables staff to quickly pinpoint and solve problems. Every communication thread is tracked and stored so messages can’t be lost or deleted.
“We wanted to get away from WhatsApp, where there’s no history,” said Jonathan Redhead, Safeguarding Manager at Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. (Wolves). “If a member of staff had inappropriate communication with a young person, we would have no oversight of that. With Teamworks, we can check those things directly”.
Wolves are also using Hub to communicate the upcoming itinerary to academy players and their parents and to obtain completed consent forms for tours, trips, and tournaments. “Sending out schedules with Teamworks ensures players are in the right places when they need to be,” Redhead said. “That’s key in making sure they stay safe.”
Improving Information Access with Files/Links
“We utilise the files section on Teamworks to provide parents and players an array of resources covering a variety of topics such as presentations from workshops to mental health signposting. Now players and parents have a place to go for more information on different topics or to download resources to support their son.”
– Stephen Quinn – Head of Academy Education & Player Care, QPR
With Hub, staff has easy and direct access to all relevant files and websites, such as bullying guidelines, safeguarding policies, and club notices to help them establish and enforce effective safeguarding measures, increase oversight, and meet regulatory requirements. Hub also allows clubs to efficiently share safeguarding policies with parents of junior players and provide links to helpful third-party assets.
“I’ve been tagging all the policies on the Hub dashboard so it’s all right there,” said Nicole Blake-Crigler, VP of people and culture at North Carolina FC. “We’ve got guidelines for stopping harassment and how to submit a complaint, information from the league and our club, and links to mental health resources.”
Wolves utilize the Files/Links feature to promote workshops on mental health and other player wellbeing topics and enhance accountability and communication with parents of academy players. “We put our safeguarding policies and anti-bullying guidance in Teamworks as files so parents can access them if they need to,” Redhead said. “It’s quicker than them searching through our website and is another way Teamworks helps with safeguarding.”
Protecting Young Players with Individual Profiles
One of the risk factors for academy athletes is the possibility of being picked up from a practice or game by someone they don’t know. Hub enables clubs to create a personalized profile for each individual that includes a list of their guardians. This provides peace of mind for parents and staff that minors are being taken care of and stay safe. The Profiles feature also allows academies at clubs like Nashville SC to add parents’ contact details so they receive the same messages and notifications as their children or, if they prefer, are the sole point of contact for communicating with coaches and staff.
“We have four youth teams in our academy – U13, U14, U15, and U17,” Galvis Gallego said. “Their Teamworks accounts are linked to their parents. They can see everything the players see because from a safety standpoint, as we’re dealing with minors, we want it all to be out in the open. The league also requires us to make all this information accessible to parents.”
Military-Grade Security & Robust Permissions
Protecting sensitive data is crucial when dealing with minors. With Teamworks, all confidential files are safely stored and protected with military-grade security and robust permissions. For parents, being able to send copies of passports, medical forms, or authorizations through a secure platform is key.
“We had an agreement within our team about what access to sensitive information would look like – the more limited it was, the safer we felt. We kept access confined depending on the user’s role. Anything the coaches might reasonably need, we would give them access. Medical staff could see the more sensitive medical information they needed to do their jobs.”
– Jonathan Redhead, Head of Safeguarding, Wolves
Building Trust with Anonymous Reporting
Teamworks is also helping clubs create a culture of safety, protection, and accountability by enabling players, parents, and staff to highlight issues using Pulse. They can easily access and complete an anonymous survey via a mobile app to confidentially report red flags, concerns, or potential violations. Once submitted, this can automatically trigger an alert for the head of safeguarding, player care/welfare personnel, psychologists, and other relevant staff members so they’re aware of the problem and can immediately address it. This also creates an audit trail that demonstrates compliance with safeguarding policies to the league and organizations like Barnardo’s and the U.S. Center for SafeSport.
With Teamworks, clubs like Wolves, North Carolina FC, QPR, and Nashville SC have a one-stop safeguarding solution. Schedule a demo to see how Hub and Pulse can help your team protect players, comply with league rules, and streamline auditing.