How Teamworks is helping protect Wolves Academy players and ensuring compliance
The Wolverhampton Wanderers FC partnered with Teamworks in 2022 to streamline communications and operations across the club, from first team to academy. As safeguarding became a top priority for the Wolves, they turned to Hub to help protect players and ensure compliance with team and league safeguarding policies.
“Teamworks is excellent for putting information out to parents so that they’re aware of safeguarding issues in society and understand how we’re working on them within the academy.”
- Jonathan Redhead, Safeguarding Manager
Like many other Premier League clubs, Wolves has a safeguarding department whose mission is to promote the welfare of vulnerable groups, especially within its Academy. “We bring in such a wide variety of players from all over the country that safeguarding becomes paramount,” said Johnathan Redhead, Safeguarding Manager for the Wolves.
The club conducted training and implemented policies to ensure the safety of children and adults and enable individuals to report concerns. But what they also needed was a way to centralize and streamline safeguarding procedures and consolidate player safety communications and data. This would lead to better information sharing, a greater level of oversight, and more transparency for all stakeholders.
Wolves’ safeguarding information was distributed across multiple different systems and platforms, which made it difficult for staff, coaches, parents, and players to access it. Parents often had to search the club’s website to locate what they needed. Messaging apps lacked a history function, which hampered the safeguarding team’s efforts to monitor communication between coaches and academy players.
As the ninth Premier League club to select Teamworks, Wolves initially intended to use the platform to improve communication, manage scheduling, and coordinate travel. The club’s leadership soon realized that Teamworks could also protect academy players, keep parents informed, and increase the effectiveness of the safeguarding team.
Making Coach-Athlete Messaging Visible & Accountable
Wolves Academy coaches can share team-wide notifications and updates via group chats in Hub, while contacting individual players and/or their parents via individual messages. Authorized staff members have visibility into all interactions so they can see what’s being said. Parents and players can also use Hub to contact safeguarding staff directly if they want to share an issue, concern, or potential policy violation.
“We wanted to get away from WhatsApp, where there’s no history. If a member of staff had inappropriate communication with a young person, we could have no oversight of that. With Teamworks, we can check those things directly.”
Putting Information at Parents’ Fingertips
Wolves Academy uses the Files/Links feature in Hub to share complete and up-to-date documentation with coaches, staff, players, and parents, eliminating the need for disparate communications, time-consuming website searches, and separate requests.
“We put our safeguarding policies and anti-bullying guidance in Teamworks as files so that parents can access them if they need to. It’s quicker than searching through our website and is another way that Teamworks helps with safeguarding.”
Simplifying Scheduling and Profiling
Wolves Academy is also using Hub to share the upcoming practice, match, and travel itinerary with players and their parents and to obtain completed consent forms for tournaments, trips, and tours in the UK and overseas. During trips, Hub Profiles allow staff members to quickly access complete contact information and other player details in one central location.
“Sending out schedules with Teamworks ensures players are in the right places when they need to be. That’s key in making sure they stay safe.”
Implementing Hub has amplified the club-wide impact of the Wolves’ safeguarding initiative. The platform ensures coach-player communication is always appropriate and provides a new level of oversight to staff so they can respond quickly if the need arises. Academy squad members and their parents have ready access to all relevant information – including updated calendars, consent forms, and safeguarding policies – so everyone knows where players should be, when, and that they’re always safe.
When any of the club’s safeguarding champions learn something new in a workshop, they pass it on to colleagues, players, and parents via Hub. Looking ahead, Hub will help Wolves provide information on its safeguarding procedures to third-party auditors.
See for Yourself
Interested in exploring how Teamworks can support your club’s safeguarding efforts? Contact us to schedule a demo today.