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Safeguarding Guidelines


Maintain appropriate boundaries

Coaches and other personnel in positions of authority should maintain clear:

Physical boundaries

  • Use drills to develop fitness, not as a punishment.
  • Only use physical contact that is appropriate for the development of a particular skill and has the permission of the athlete.
  • Work within sight of others at all times.
  • Design age-appropriate activities and set realistic expectations for them.

Emotional boundaries

  • Use positive feedback on performance, not negative personal feedback.
  • Be encouraging and avoid insults/ negative comments.
  • Treat all children with respect, sensitivity, and fairness.
  • Never ridicule or yell at a child for making a mistake.

Social boundaries

  • Attend sport related events such as sponsorship and fundraising events, celebrations and annual meetings but do not socialise with athletes outside of sporting functions.
  • Do not socialise with athletes via social media.
  • Keep your session safe and fun for all children irrespective of their level of ability.

Minimise physical contact

Generally, physical contact with players or participants should be to:

  • When correcting players
  • Prevent or respond to an injury
  • Meet the specific requirements of the sport

Avoid being alone with a child

To protect yourself and the child from risk:

  • Do not isolate yourself and a child and avoid being alone with any particular child.
  • If a child approaches you and wants to talk to you privately about a matter, do so in an open area and in sight of other adults (e.g. other coaches, officials or parents/guardians).
  • Before going into change rooms knock or announce that you will be coming in. Try to have at least one adult with you in a change room with children.

Safeguard yourself as a coach

  • Proof that your reference and background check are in line with the local legislation is available at all time.
  • Carry evidence that you have completed the minimum required online and face-to-face courses indicated on the pathway page.