First Sport and Physical Activity Welfare Lead joins GM Moving

Across England, sports clubs and organisations are being supported by a new network of Sport Welfare Officers. They have been recruited by Active Partnerships and funded by Sport England through an investment of National Lottery money.

Overhead view of a group dance exercise class in a community centre

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By GM Moving | 23 February 2024 | TAGS: Katie Thompson, Welfare

The Sport Welfare Officers are working with National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and key partners, such as the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit and Ann Craft Trust, to develop a new local approach to assisting and supporting club welfare officers, to create safer club environments and improved experiences for young people and adults.   

The aim of the network is to increase welfare capacity and expertise at a local and national level and share best practice to help prevent concerns, making sport safe for everyone.  

The programme will see 63 Sport Welfare Officers employed across the network of 43 Active Partnerships. Katie Thompson has joined GM Moving as our first Sport and Physical Activity Welfare lead, with our second recruit set to join us in April, when we will be able to update again to introduce her and share where the work is heading.

Katie has previously worked for England Netball and MCRActive. She joins GM Moving directly from a project management role at the RFU, with a focus on breaking down barriers to get more women coaches and referees into Rugby in the build-up to the Womens RWC2025 here on home soil to create a legacy.  

Katie is deeply passionate about breaking down barriers and providing safe and inclusive opportunities for all to participate in physical activity. She holds a voluntary role as the ‘Inclusion Lead’ with Greater Manchester County Netball Association and is also the founder of Manchester Thunder ParaNetball Club for young people that are deaf or disabled. Regardless of a person's disability, the focus of the sessions is always about the ABILITY within DisABILITY.  She recently won the ‘Diversity and Inclusion Champion’ award at the ‘Made in Manchester Awards’ for her fantastic work providing opportunities for disabled people to be active in a safe and inclusive environment.  

Hayley Lever, Chief Executive Officer at GM Moving commented,  

“I am delighted to welcome Katie to the team. These roles are vital to all our work on GM Moving in Action and Uniting the Movement, because changing the culture of sport will help more people to find meaning, value and enjoyment in movement throughout their life.  Welfare in sport matters to all of us. Together we can create positive, welcoming, inclusive environments and opportunities where everyone can thrive.  We all have a role to play, and Welfare Officers will help us to understand what needs to change, how, and how we can all make a difference as volunteers, coaches, parents, teachers and leaders." 

For clubs or organisations who would like to contact Katie, please email [email protected] 

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