A NORTH-East footballing legend is backing a children’s charity campaign calling on parents to take a bigger role in sports clubs.

The NSPCC campaign is aimed at encouraging parents and sports clubs to work together to ensure children are protected and reach their full potential.

It is being backed by former Newcastle United and England player Alan Shearer.

He said: “Parents play such an important role in encouraging and supporting their child in the sports they play.

“My parents were there for me every step of the way and I know I could not have achieved what I did without them.

“I fully support the NSPCC’s campaign, as it is so important that clubs and parents work together to encourage children to take part and enjoy sports, as well as ensuring they can thrive in a safe environment.”

Parents are being asked to check safeguarding requirements are met in full and to look at their behaviour to make sure they are a positive influence.

Anne Tiivas, from the NSPCC, said: “We know parents play a critical role in youth sport. In fact, without parental support and involvement – from washing kits to the taxi of mum and dad – it’s likely that youth sport would cease to exist.

“We also know that without parents’ involvement in their child’s sport, children are less likely to achieve and sustain a lifelong interest in sport and adopt a healthy lifestyle.

“Parents in Sport Week is important because it encourages parents to make sure they are positively influencing their child’s involvement and wellbeing in sport and recognise their role in keeping them safe. It also encourages clubs to ensure they are engaging with parents.”