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BFA urges need for welfare officers

Wendell Baxter

The Bermuda Football Association has asked for child and welfare officers to be assigned to organisations dealing with vulnerable persons.

It comes after former Bermuda footballer and coach Wendell Baxter was jailed on Tuesday for a string of historic sex offences against three young boys.

The BFA also applauded the bravery of the men who came forward and reiterated its call for others suffering in silence to seek out the relevant helping organisations.

Noting Baxter’s conviction and sentencing, the BFA stated: “We hope this brings closure for the three men and their families, and signals the beginning of the healing process for them.

“The Bermuda Football Association applaud the bravery of these men and reiterate our call for any others who are ‘suffering in silence’ to seek out the helping organisations and the judicial bodies, as we believe these cases are a matter for the courts of Bermuda as there is no statute of limitation on cases of child abuse.”

The statement added the BFA would continue to introduce policies and programmes such as its coach education and licensing and the club licensing programme.

“The Scars and first aid requirements contained in these initiatives help to ensure our players can learn the game in a safe environment conducive to football development,” it added.

“Our clubs are well on the way to achieving the requirements for club licensing as the list of Scars and first-aid trained persons grows exponentially.”

And it said: “In a further step, we have asked for child and welfare officers to be assigned to each organisation that has programmes for vulnerable persons.

“Our goal is to work with the Department of Social Services to have this in place before our youth season commences in September. We believe this step is a must for all youth organisations operating in Bermuda.”

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