ALL PARENTS OF JUNIOR MEMBERS SHOULD BE AWARE OF OUR POLICIES ON CHILD WELFARE

The profile of child safety increases every year. This places greater demands on all sports clubs, voluntary organisations and schools. Child welfare is the responsibility of all coaches and helpers and of parents whose children attend training or competition.

Coaching qualifications: Club training is taken by UK Athletics qualified coaches. To become a coach one must attend one or more coaching courses and supervise a minimum number of coaching sessions per year some alongside other coaches. As part of the application procedure for these Coaching Licenses, Scottish Athletics also conduct a background check (Protecting Vulnerable Groups – PVG) through Disclosure Scotland.  The club also insists that any regular helpers and team managers also go through this process.

Adult Helpers: To provide adequate supervision for younger members we will require a parent or guardian from each family to take turns at helping out at training and at competition.

Physical contact: Physical contact between coaches and athletes is kept to an absolute minimum and usually falls into one of two categories:

  • Technical correction of body position, usually in throwing events.
  • Assistance to an exhausted or injured athlete.

There should always be a qualified coach or additional adults present.

Behaviour: It may seem obvious, but attendees at training are expected to train, attendees at competition are expected to compete. All club juniors are provided with a charter which explains the expected standards of behaviour.

Travel to competitions: As most of the venues are within an hour’s travel of our main catchment area of Balerno / Currie we rely on parents to provide transport. If children are left with us, parents should be aware that they will be travelling in a car with other children, and wherever possible with families that they know, but this cannot always be guaranteed. For longer trips we will hire a coach, but we still need a quota of parents to travel as part of the club.

At competitions: All clubs are required to provide a minimum number of qualified officials and helpers to assist for the duration of the meeting. We need to ensure that we have enough adults to help with the smooth running of the event and the supervision of younger members.

Illness & Injury: If anyone is suffering from an illness or is injured and cannot take a competition they have been selected for, then please let the team manager know as far in advance as possible.

If anyone is taking regular medication, or has a medical condition, please inform the coaches and add to the relevant section of the paysubsonline registration.

Food & drink: It is strongly advised not to have a large meal before training or competing. Children should not be given large amounts of money to spend on “convenience snacks” at meetings.

First Aid: There is always First Aid cover at competitions.

Photography: Agreement to photographs being taken is increasingly a condition of entry for championships and major events. We have stated on the club membership form that members may be photographed for legitimate purposes (eg club publicity, a record of achievement, coaching purposes).

Harmeny Atheletic is committed to providing a safe environment for children/young people under the age of 18. Essential to this commitment, is to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to protect children/young people from the inappropriate use of their images in resource and media publications, on the internet, and elsewhere.

Photographs can be used as a means of identifying children and young people when they are accompanied with personal information, for example, – this is X who is a member of Hometown Athletic Club who likes Westlife and supports Manchester United. This information can make a child vulnerable to an individual who may wish to start to “groom” that child for abuse.

Secondly, the content of the photo can be used or adapted for inappropriate use. While this is rare in athletics, there is evidence of adapted material finding its way onto child pornography sites. Athletics Clubs and County Associations therefore need to develop a policy in relation to the use of images of children/young people on their web sites and in other publications.

When assessing the potential risks in the use of images of athletes, the most important factor is the potential of inappropriate use of images of children.

Please view the following documents to read further guidelines and information: UKA Photography Policy and UKA Stadium Photography Policy.

Welfare of all competitors, club officials and volunteers: Although the above has focussed primarily on child welfare, we are conscious of the need to ensure the welfare of all competitors and volunteers.

IF ANY PARENTS HAS ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT ANY OF THE ABOVE, PLEASE SPEAK TO ANY OF THE CLUB COACHES OR OUR WELFARE OFFICE JUDITH CAMPBELL on welfare@harmenyac.org.

THE BEST WAY TO ENSURE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR EVERYONE IS THROUGH THE ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT OF ALL PARENTS.

Policies and Procedures

The UKA policies and procedures are available on the web-site http://www.scottishathletics.org.uk/clubs/club-support/welfare-and-child-protection/.  The Child Safety Flowchart provides guidance in case of any suspected or possible abuse.