SALFORD’S WORLD CUP SAFEGUARDING REPRESENTATIVE – MATT CARR

SALFORD’S WORLD CUP SAFEGUARDING REPRESENTATIVE – MATT CARR

Everyone at Saford Red Devils is delighted to learn that our own Matt Carr has been selected as one of a team of six safeguarding officials to operate at Rugby League World Cup games, over the coming five weeks, and his first outing in this role will be this evening, at the Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens, for the Tonga v Papua New Guinea match, to be followed up on Saturday, with the England v France encounter.

Matt joined Salford twelve months ago, having gained his first safeguarding qualifications – later updated to those pertaining to rugby league – and experience at the grassroots level of football with a well-known local club, and he, together with Director, Paul Trainor, established the safeguarding setup which has been in operation since the start of last season.

“I joined Salford last November and feel we have made good progress over the season, as has been confirmed by the RFL on their visits here,” he justifiably claims.

His responsibilities are quite wide-ranging, including the care and guidance of our younger players, vulnerable adult spectators, unaccompanied minors, and dealing with safeguarding incidents.

“The match day role was quite new to me back in February but includes liaising with match-day security, looking after any groups, or children with specific needs, who might be attending, and managing any safeguarding incidents which might occur, such as a missing or lost child.  There were very few such occurrences, last season, and those which did manifest themselves were speedily and satisfactorily resolved,”

His twelve months experience here now has to be transferred to what could, potentially, be a much more challenging environment, especially at Saturday’s England fixture.

“I will have a lot more responsibility with mascots, flag-bearers, community groups, and the role will be quite a big one, as can be seen by the number of us who have been appointed.  We will operate within our own regions.

“The World Cup is the pinnacle of any sport, and I was extremely proud to have been selected, despite a few nerves at the responsibility it brings.  Hopefully those will dissipate once I get through the first game tonight, because it won’t come much bigger than Saturday’s.  The risk will increase rapidly with what should be a sell-out attendance, but fortunately the RFL Head of Safeguarding will also be there.

Matt will certainly be well prepared for the occasions coming his way as he spent a full day last week being fully trained up.

“The day focused specifically on reporting and recording procedures should any incident occur, but the greatest learning will come through my involvement at the games, starting with tonight’s, though it will mainly consist of applying my knowledge and skills acquired over the years, and then building upon that.

“I believe that the work I have done at Salford has stood me in good stead throughout the application process and am hoping that I will learn a whole lot more from my forthcoming involvement, which I can then introduce here at Salford.”

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