Skip Navigation LinksMerton Council ❮ Healthy living ❮ Sport and healthy living activities ❮ Sports clubs ❮ 

Choosing a sports club for your child

This is not a comprehensive guide but the following list gives parents some ideas about what they should consider when choosing a sports club for their child. The list should help you judge whether a club will look after your child and coach them well.

Affiliation to the sports governing body

Clubs should be affiliated to their governing body, this often also gives them their insurance.


This can either be Clubmark accreditation from Sport England or an accreditation from the sport's national governing body or from Active Surrey. The achievement of this accreditation means the club meets minimum operating standards for a safe and effective sports environment.

Child protection policy

The policy indicates that the club is aware of it's responsibilities to the young people in the club and has procedures in place to safeguard them.

Club public liability insurance

This covers the club for any accidents that happen.

Coach to young person ratio

This will not be the same for every activity, each governing body has it's own guidelines, however if there are a lot of children to a coach there is a higher risk of an accident occurring.

CRB (criminal records bureau) checked leaders, coaches and volunteers

These checks show that at the time of the check these people do not have previous convictions that make them unsuitable to work with children.

Qualified and insured coaches and volunteers

Coaches need to be qualified to ensure safe practice and insurance is needed to cover their activities.

Risk assessments on equipment and activities

This ensures hazards are considered and risks are managed effectively.

Trained first aiders and an appropriate procedure for accidents.

There should be appropriately trained first aiders and procedures should be in place that will be followed if an accident occurs.

See also

Contact us

Leisure Development
London Borough of Merton
Civic Centre
London Road

Telephone: 020 8545 3716 or 3663