Congratulations to DS Ieuan Watkins who was presented with a NSPCC Safeguarding Star award by 11 time Paralympic Gold Medallist, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.
The award was presented in October at the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) annual conference and 15 year anniversary celebration at Wembley Stadium. The CPSU is the lead national organisation in safeguarding the well-being of all young people in sport and these awards were given to people that have made an exceptional contribution to safeguarding in sport over the last 12 months. DS Watkins was nominated by Cricket Wales for the voluntary role he carries out as child welfare lead for recreational cricket in Wales and the contribution this has made in providing a safe environment for children and young people in the sport. Ieuan has worked with Cricket Wales for the last 6 years and in the Public Protection Unit in Gwent Police for 14 years.
Ieuan said, “Cricket has always been something I’ve been very passionate about. My role in Gwent Police helped me to identify that there were areas that could be improved regarding safeguarding in the sport. “We’ve set up a team of welfare officers within Cricket Wales who work throughout Wales and we work together to provide a consistent approach to safeguarding.
On receiving the award, Ieuan added, “The day itself was fantastic. The training conference was facilitated by young ambassadors of sport which demonstrated how we can integrate young people into sport and made me more aware of their needs and demands. I was very honoured to receive the award and that my work was recognised at a national level. I am delighted to see cricket in Wales adopt the new safeguarding standards that we are implementing and hope to see the fruition for young people playing our sport going forwards.”
Tanni Laura Whapham from the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit said ‘Ieuan has really driven the safeguarding work at Cricket Wales in recent years, implementing procedures which will make children involved in Cricket safer.
“Ieuan not only commits his time to help Cricket but other national governing bodies of sport who rely on his expertise. Ieuan has successfully provided a bridge between the statutory sector through his role with the police and the sport sector which is hugely beneficial to both parties. The CPSU would like to congratulate Ieuan on this prestigious award and to thank him for his ongoing commitment to making sport in Wales safer.”
Peter Hybart Chief Executive Officer for Cricket Wales said, ‘Ieuan Watkins has worked tirelessly on a voluntary basis for the past six years and in so doing has made cricket in Wales a safer place to be. He leads a team of dedicated volunteers throughout Wales, all passionate about ensuring best practice is followed. His work within Welsh cricket has seen him recognised more widely by Sport Wales and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and I am delighted that he is now gaining the accolade of becoming a ‘Safeguarding Star’. Well done Ieuan, thoroughly deserved and many thanks from all within Cricket Wales’.”
Detective Inspector Judith Roberts said, “We are all very proud that the commitment and hard work that DS Watkins has shown with his work as a volunteer with Cricket Wales has been recognised with this National Safeguarding Award.
“This is an area of business that many people shy away from because of the difficult decisions that need to be made, however, DS Watkins has used the knowledge and experience he has gained whilst working for Gwent Police to support Cricket Wales to develop their safeguarding structure and as a result, children in sport across Wales are safer.”