Lincoln lawyer advises lead sports governors on child protection

A lawyer from Lincoln has advised some of the country’s biggest sports governing bodies on child protection in sport.

Richard Parnell, the Managing Partner of Bridge McFarland, was asked to lead a workshop on safeguarding at the NSPCC’s offices in Leicester.

Among the delegates at the event were representatives of the Rugby Football League, the English Cricket Board, the British Equestrian Federation and Basketball England.

The lead officers for safeguarding for the vast majority of sports National Governing Bodies and some County Sports Partnerships were represented at the event.

Richard spoke about the role of the Non-Executive Director in ensuring an organisation promotes a child-focused culture to protect children in sport.

Other speakers at the event addressed the issues of sexual violence in sport and retaining the interest of young people in sport.

Richard’s reputation as a regional leader in the field of sports law has been growing rapidly in the last 12 months.

He is a Trustee and Non-Executive Director of Lincolnshire Sport, company solicitor for Lincoln City FC and was recently appointed by Rounders England to take up a seat on their board.

Richard has also presented seminars on drugs and doping in sport to both the University of Lincoln and Hull BID at the BBC Open Centre in Hull.

He is a keen sportsman, is a member of the British Association for Sport and the Law (BASL) and the British Philosophy of Sport Association (BPSA) and is currently studying for a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in Sports Law and Practice at De Montfort University in Leicester.

He has now been asked by the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit to present a seminar on the law surrounding child protection in sport.

Richard said: “Having effective and robust child protection policies is vital in ensuring our children remain safe from harm whilst playing sport and it is, quite rightly, at the top of the agenda for all sports.

“I’m passionate about sport and passionate about young people playing sport so it was a privilege to help some of the country’s leading sports organisations with the challenges of protecting children in sport.”