This study represents the first investigation of how children with a disability can be safeguarded in Rugby Union. In study 1, a questionnaire containing quantitative questions was completed by 389 safeguarding volunteers regarding their experiences of working with a child with a disability in their role. Descriptive statistics revealed that 76% of this sample had worked with a child with a disability in Rugby Union and that 28% continue to do so on a weekly basis. In study 2, a qualitative survey was completed by 329 safeguarding volunteers and interviews were conducted with a geographically representative sample of 14 Safeguarding Officers. This study focused on developing a model of promising practice with respect to safeguarding children with a disability in Rugby Union. Based on an inductive thematic analysis of the qualitative survey and interview data, the TACL model was developed: Trigger (creating a system that sensitively identifies children with a disability), Action Plan (creating an individualized approach such that the child is effectively included and protected), Communicate (ensuring that all key stakeholders are informed about the plan) and Learn (ensuring that cases of good practice are identified and disseminated). The name TACL (pronounced tackle) was chosen to promote proactive strategies and to provide a label relevant to the language of Rugby Union. These strategies are proposed as the basis for the safeguarding of children with a disability.
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