Online training: Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma-informed practice

Online training: Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma-informed practice

Healthy Stadia is now providing interactive 2 hour online training courses, delivered via Zoom, that provide coaches and those involved in child and adult safeguarding with new insights into the profound effects of trauma, the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and how participation in sport and physical activity can foster resilience and help people heal, recover and improve their long-term physical and mental health.

The training course features infographics, videos, animations and testimony from those living with ACEs and participants will be given a range of tasks to test their knowledge and understanding. Participants will also have the opportunity to comment and contribute their perspectives throughout the online training programme.


Trauma often stems from abuse and neglect or living in households where individuals are routinely exposed to issues such as domestic violence, alcohol and other substance use issues. Individuals may also suffer trauma outside of the home environment through bullying and discrimination in school and in workplaces, as well as gang violence, natural disasters and even war. Ultimately, trauma can have a negative impact on health and wellbeing, social outcomes and participation in sport.


There is a growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating that our experiences during childhood can affect our physical and mental health throughout the life course.

Children, and indeed adolescents and adults, who experience prolonged stressful experiences are more likely to adopt health-harming behaviours, such as smoking tobacco, alcohol and drug misuse, which can lead to mental ill health and early onset of chronic disease.


Individuals who have experienced trauma are more likely to struggle with social situations and have difficulty building relationships.

For children and young people this can be hugely disruptive in terms of their education and puts them at greater risk of a variety of poor social outcomes including poverty and deprivation, unemployment, social isolation and loneliness and homelessness in adulthood.


Participation in sport is associated with better mental health outcomes – and there are several reasons for this. Being physically active helps to relieve stress and anxiety and being part of a team can build many different soft skills.

But perhaps most importantly, sport provides stable and supportive relationships through which individuals can build resilience, improve self-esteem, and talk about their issues without fear or judgement.

Who’s attended?

Over the last two years, Healthy Stadia has delivered training to a host of organisations regionally, nationally and internationally including County Football Associations, Club Community Organisations, Active Partnerships, Youth Charities, Grassroots Sports Organisations, Violence Reduction Programmes and Homeless Football Clubs.


You can access the training through your mobile phone, tablet, PC or laptop. The online classroom is delivered via Zoom. Click here to download Zoom. You will also need the following equipment:

  • Mobile phone, tablet, PC or laptop with built-in speakers and microphone, or;
  • Headset or a device with speakers and microphone
  • Stable internet connection
  • Improve knowledge about the nature and extent of ACEs
  • Understand how trauma can have adverse effects on behaviours, emotions and lifelong opportunities
  • Understand how the supportive relationships and environments that sport provides can prevent or reverse the harm from trauma and build individual and community resilience
  • Enhance current safeguarding training and practices
  • Develop ACE aware and trauma-informed approaches across sport organisations
  • Community sports coaches
  • Safeguarding officers
  • Workforce development managers
  • Mental health leads
  • Social inclusion leads
  • Premier League Kicks staff
  • NCS staff
  • Volunteers

Andrew Bennett, Public Health Lead

Andrew is a former youth worker and has spent the last 30 years in public health working predominantly on addiction and dependency issues around tobacco, harmful alcohol consumption and recreational drug use.

This experience led Andrew to specialise in trauma-informed practice. He has now delivered training on ACEs, trauma and resilience for health practitioners, police forces and sports organisations over the last 3 years in the UK and Europe.

Michael Viggars, Project Manager

After initially shadowing Andrew, Michael now leads on the delivery of ACEs and trauma-informed practice training for community sport and physical activity organisations. Michael has carefully aligned the training package to complement best practices around child and adult safeguarding within sport.

In addition, Michael develops and delivers a training strategy, offers advice and guidance to sport and physical activity organisations toward taking a whole-organisation approach to trauma-informed practice and also represents Healthy Stadia at key consultations nationally.


“The training was a great insight into ACEs and it was brilliantly delivered. Our existing delivery focuses on mental health awareness, working with children and young people who are at risk of poor mental health. This training provides an understanding of how certain risk factors/ACEs can affect a young person.”

Tackling the Blues coordinator, Everton in the Community

“Trauma-informed practice should be embedded within safeguarding policies.”

Children and Young People Development Officer, Kent Sport

“ACEs is a different lens to your typical safeguarding programmes. It helps you to consider what might be happening outside of a sporting context.”

Safeguarding Officer, County Football Association

“There was a clear explanation of ACEs and their effects on people – and high percentages of people with at least one ACE! A great mix of theory, video, interaction etc which kept it engaging.” 

International Partnerships Manager, Homeless World Cup Foundation

“I found the training very useful, and surprisingly emotional, I felt I had been on a personal and professional journey to understand why people react / behave in certain ways.”

School Sports Partnership Officer, Blackburn Rovers Community Trust

“Understanding how ACEs impact other areas of our lives – how you should not just assume a child/adult is acting a certain way, there could be a reason or impacted from previous experiences.”

Health and Wellbeing Manager, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation

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