The Bermuda Football Association and the Bermuda Football Coaches Association are collaborating with the organization Saving Children and Revealing Secrets [SCARS] to help safe guard the youth of Bermuda.

The implementation of the BFA coach licensing policy on August 31, 2018 required that all coaches have completed training to equip them with the tools to help reduce the risk of child sexual abuse occurring in youth football programs and our communities. The policy also requires coaches have received formal coaching education and First Aid and AED training.

On Wednesday 29th August, 2018 the BFCA hosted a SCARS – Stewards of Children training program at CedarBridge Academy to help coaches meet the criteria of certification to coach within youth programs for the 2018-2019 football season.

A total of 55 coaches from clubs throughout the island completed the training seminar and are now SCARS certified.

President of the BFCA, Richard Todd, commended the BFA for taking the steps to include the child wellbeing component as a part of the coach license certification. “ In doing so, the BFA have taken steps to help ensure that we can reduce and eliminate the dangers of child sexual abuse.

“Many of those attending the training seminar will do so because it is required in order to meet the criteria to coach, but they will leave with better knowledge to help protect our children and be informed with how they can, and should intervene if they recognize the signs of abuse. It also sends a strong message to would be offenders that they are not welcomed and we will be vigilante in our programs.”

The training seminar was led by Debi Ray-Rivers, the founder of SCARS Bermuda, and presenter Anton Gilbert. Ms Ray Rivers commented, “Every child is a gift! Their safety must be a priority and that begins with an investment by every parent and every youth serving organization. Last night’s training session demonstrated that investment by the BFCA and the BFA.

“Their participation in our ‘Darkness to Light Stewards of Children training program’, are shining examples of making an investment to protect children. The BFA is raising the bar by mandating prevention training for all coaches and by enhancing licensing requirement standards.

“The BFCA is helping to facilitate that coaches who attend their education courses and programs are provided the opportunity, with scheduling of the training for them to attend.”

In attendance at the seminar was BFA president, Mark Wade, who was renewing his SCARS certification.

“It was good to partner with SCARS and the Bermuda Football Coaches Association to help coaches meet the requirements for obtaining a Bermuda FA coaching license. The 55 coaches in attendance were provided with tools that will be useful within football and in their everyday lives,” he said.

Any coach who needs to complete the required SCARS training to meet certification standards, can contact them directly to enquire about additional scheduled opportunities they can attend.

By Bernews