Dundrum South Dublin Athletic Club takes this subject very seriously - with the large number of children who train and compete with us, we have to.

DSD AC is fully committed to ensuring that young people are safeguarded in their participation in athletics. Early experiences of young athletes in our sport need to be positive and enjoyable, irrespective of their ability, gender, social or ethnic background.

We follow best practice in Child Welfare, and fully adhere to Athetics Ireland's recommended processes in this area. To maintain an open and transparent approach we have adopted AI's policies, codes of conduct, and guidelines as our own, only customising them in order to make them club specific to ourselves.

DSD AC would like to acknowledge the contribution of Athletics Ireland. The material on this page (including most text, links, and graphics) is taken from the AI website and has been customised to make it specific for DSD. The AI material is available at the AI website's Child Welfare page.


Child Protection Policy Statement

 

Dundrum South Dublin Athletics Club is committed to ensuring that all young people who play sport have a safe and positive experience. The club is committed to developing and implementing policies and procedures to ensure that everyone knows and accepts their responsibility in relation to a duty of care for young people. 

Dundrum South Dublin Athletics Club recognises that it is not the responsibility of those individuals working within the club to determine if abuse has taken place, but it is their responsibility to act upon and report any concerns. 

If any person within the club has a doubt to this policy’s relevance to their role and duties then please contact any one of the club’s Children’s Officers: 

  • Eibhear Donnellan (Contact details on Club Contacts Page) 
  • Rosanna Baker - Irishtown
  • Una Doyle - BCS

The Club and those involved with the club will abide by the following principles and statements: 

  • All young people within Dundrum South Dublin Athletics Club, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, ability or disability, have the right to be protected. 
  • All young people participating in sport have a right to do so in a safe environment. 
  • All adults involved with the club will provide a safe, positive and fun sporting experience for young people. 
  • All volunteers, coaches and officials will understand and be supported in their role and responsibility with regard to the duty of care for young people. 
  • All suspicions and allegations will be taken seriously, managed and dealt with swiftly and appropriately. 
  • The club will assist coaches, volunteers and officials to remain up-to-date with the latest safeguarding and child protection issues. 
  • The club will appoint a Children’s Officer whose role is to be responsible for issues concerning child welfare at the club.

Bullying Policy

This is adapted from the Scout Association of Ireland’s Child Protection Policy

 

What is Bullying?

Bullying can be defined as repeated aggression; be it verbal, psychological or physical conducted by an individual or group against others. 

It is behaviour that is intentionally aggravating and intimidating and occurs mainly in social environments such as schools, clubs and other organizations working with children and young people. 

It includes behaviours such as teasing, taunting, threatening, hitting and extortion behaviour by one or more children against a victim. 

How would you know if a child is being bullied?

All bullies operate using furtiveness, threats and fear. Bullying can therefore only survive in an environment where the victim does not feel empowered to tell someone who can help or in which it is not safe to do so. 

The following indicators are warning signs that a young person might be getting bullied: 

  • Reluctance to come to a venue or take part in activities. 
  • Physical signs (unexplained bruises, scratches, or damage to belongings). 
  • Stress-caused illness - headaches, and stomach aches which seem unexplained. 
  • Fearful behaviour (fear of walking to a meeting, going different routes, asking to be driven). 
  • Frequent loss of, or shortage of, money with vague explanations. 
  • Having few friends. 
  • Changes in behaviour (withdrawn, stammering, moody, irritable, upset, distressed). 
  • Not eating. 
  • Attempting suicide or hinting at suicide. 
  • Anxiety (shown by nail-biting, fearfulness, tics). 

There are other possible reasons for many of the above

Who should deal with bullying?

While the more extreme forms of bullying would be regarded as physical or emotional abuse and are reported to the health board or An Garda Síochana, dealing with bullying behaviour is normally the responsibility of all Leaders within the club. 

How can it be prevented?

  • Ensure that all members follow the code of conduct, which promotes the rights and dignity of each member. 
  • Deal with any incidents as they arise. 
  • Use a whole group policy or "no-blame approach", i.e., not "bullying the bully" but working with bullies and the group of young people, helping them to understand the hurt they are causing, and so make the problem a "shared concern" of the group, (see below). 
  • Reinforce that there is "a permission to tell" culture rather than a "might is right." 
  • Encourage young people to negotiate, co-operate and help others, particularly new or different children. 
  • Offer the victim immediate support and put the "no blame approach" into operation. 
  • Never tell a young person to ignore bullying, they can’t ignore it, it hurts too much. 
  • Never encourage a young person to take the law into their own hands and beat the bully at their own game. 
  • Tell the victim there is nothing wrong with them and it is not their fault. 

What is the "No Blame" Approach?

Step 1 - Interview with the victim 

If you find that there has been an incident of bullying, first talk to the victim. At this stage find out who was involved and what the victim is now feeling. Try asking the following questions: 

  • Was it verbal or physical intimidation?
  • How hurt is the victim?
  • Was it within his/her own peer group?
  • Ensure the victim that his/her name will not come out in the investigation. 
  • Actively listen. 

Step 2 - Meet with all involved 

Arrange to meet with all those involved; this should include some bystanders, those who may have colluded, those who joined in and those who initiated the bullying.  

  • Have a maximum of six to eight in the group - keep the number controllable. 
  • Make a point of calling a "special" meeting. 
  • Ensure all understands the severity of the topic. 
  • Speak only of the hurt caused in general terms with no reference to the victim. 
  • Play on the conscience of all - ask questions like: How would you feel?
  • Would you like it done to you?

Step 3 - Explain the problem 

The distress being suffered as a result of the bullying incident is explained. At this stage the details of the incident or the allocation of the blame is not discussed. 

Explain the feelings of loneliness, feeling left out, rejected, laughed at. Try asking questions: 

  • Would they like it if it happened to them?
  • "Someone here in this group was bullied by someone within the group, what could we do to see it does not happen again?" 
  • Listen, watch out for reactions, and pick up on any without isolating anyone 

Step 4 - Share the responsibility 

Explain what steps/controls may have to be introduced to prevent further incidents and how everyone will loose out as a result. 

Step 5 - Ask the group for their ideas 

At this stage the group is encouraged to suggest ways that would make the victim feel happier. All positive responses are noted. Use phrases "if it were you" to encourage a response. Listen to all suggestions and note them. 

Step 6 - Leave it to them 

Now the problem has been identified, solutions suggested, the problem is now handed over to the group to solve. Arrange to meet again in a week’s time. Pass responsibility over to the group and give a time frame within which something must be done. 

Step 7 - Meet them again 

Each member of the group, including the bully, discuss how things are going, who is doing what and have there been other incidents. This allows for continual monitoring and also keeps all involved in the process. Again enforce the idea of the "team" looking after each other. 


Coaches, Officials and Volunteers Code of Conduct

 

The essence of good ethical conduct and practice is summarised below. 

All coaches, officials and volunteers at the club should: 

  • Consider the well being and safety of participants before the development of performance. 
  • Develop an appropriate working relationship with participants, based on mutual trust and respect. 
  • Make sure all activities are appropriate to the age, ability and the experience of those taking part. 
  • Promote the positive aspects of the sport (e.g. fair play) 
  • Display consistently high standards of behaviour. 
  • Follow all guidelines laid down by the national governing body and the club. 
  • Hold appropriate qualifications and insurance cover. 
  • Never exert undue influence over participants to gain personal benefit or reward. 
  • Never condone rule violations, rough play or the use of prohibited substances. 
  • Encourage participants to value their performances and not just results. 
  • Encourage and guide participants to accept responsibility for their own performance and behaviour. 
  • Never use foul or inappropriate language. 
  • Never engage in any form of sexual relations with anyone under the age of 18, or vulnerable adults. 
  • Read, understand and put into practice all club policies and procedures. 

Coaches, Officials and Volunteers Code of Conduct

 

The essence of good ethical conduct and practice is summarised below. 

All coaches, officials and volunteers at the club should: 

  • Consider the well being and safety of participants before the development of performance. 
  • Develop an appropriate working relationship with participants, based on mutual trust and respect. 
  • Make sure all activities are appropriate to the age, ability and the experience of those taking part. 
  • Promote the positive aspects of the sport (e.g. fair play) 
  • Display consistently high standards of behaviour. 
  • Follow all guidelines laid down by the national governing body and the club. 
  • Hold appropriate qualifications and insurance cover. 
  • Never exert undue influence over participants to gain personal benefit or reward. 
  • Never condone rule violations, rough play or the use of prohibited substances. 
  • Encourage participants to value their performances and not just results. 
  • Encourage and guide participants to accept responsibility for their own performance and behaviour. 
  • Never use foul or inappropriate language. 
  • Never engage in any form of sexual relations with anyone under the age of 18, or vulnerable adults. 
  • Read, understand and put into practice all club policies and procedures. 

Coaches, Officials and Volunteers Code of Conduct

 

The essence of good ethical conduct and practice is summarised below. 

All coaches, officials and volunteers at the club should: 

  • Consider the well being and safety of participants before the development of performance. 
  • Develop an appropriate working relationship with participants, based on mutual trust and respect. 
  • Make sure all activities are appropriate to the age, ability and the experience of those taking part. 
  • Promote the positive aspects of the sport (e.g. fair play) 
  • Display consistently high standards of behaviour. 
  • Follow all guidelines laid down by the national governing body and the club. 
  • Hold appropriate qualifications and insurance cover. 
  • Never exert undue influence over participants to gain personal benefit or reward. 
  • Never condone rule violations, rough play or the use of prohibited substances. 
  • Encourage participants to value their performances and not just results. 
  • Encourage and guide participants to accept responsibility for their own performance and behaviour. 
  • Never use foul or inappropriate language. 
  • Never engage in any form of sexual relations with anyone under the age of 18, or vulnerable adults. 
  • Read, understand and put into practice all club policies and procedures. 

Code of Conduct for Parents/Guardians

 

  • Encourage your child to learn the rules and play within them. 
  • Discourage unfair play and arguing with officials. 
  • Help your child to recognise good performance, not just results. 
  • Never force your child to take part in sport. 
  • Set a good example by recognising fair play and applauding good performances of all. 
  • Never punish or belittle a child for losing or making mistakes. 
  • Publicly accept officials' judgments. 
  • Support your child's involvement and help them to enjoy their sport. 
  • Use correct and proper language at all times. 
  • Encourage and guide performers to accept responsibility for their own performance and behaviour. 

Guidelines for Children

 

Children have a great deal to gain from athletics in terms of their personal development and enjoyment. The promotion of good practice in athletics will depend on the co-operation of all involved, including child members of clubs. Children must be encouraged to realise that they also have responsibilities to treat other children and Leaders with fairness and respect. 

Children in sport are entitled to: 

  • Be listened to 
  • Be believed 
  • Be safe and to feel safe 
  • Participate in activities on an equal basis, appropriate to their ability and stage of development 
  • Be treated with dignity, sensitivity and respect 
  • Be happy, have fun and enjoy athletics 
  • Experience competition at a level at which they feel comfortable and the desire to win as a positive and healthy outcome for striving for best performance 
  • Comment and make suggestions in a constructive manner 
  • Make a complaint in an appropriate way and have it dealt with through an effective complaints procedure 
  • Be afforded appropriate confidentiality 
  • Be represented at meetings within their club 
  • Have a voice in the running of their club 
  • Approach the Children’s Officer/Designated Person with any questions or concerns they may have 

Children should undertake to: 

  • Play fairly, do their best and have fun 
  • Shake hands before and after the event, whoever wins - and mean it 
  • Respect officials and accept their decisions with grace, not a grudge 
  • Respect fellow club members; give them full support both when they do well and when things go wrong 
  • Respect opponents, they are not enemies, they are partners in a sporting event 
  • Give opponents a hand if they are injured or have problems with equipment 
  • Accept apologies from opponents when they are offered 
  • Exercise self-control and tolerance for others, even if others do not 
  • Be modest in victory and be gracious in defeat 
  • Show appropriate loyalty to athletics and all its participants 
  • Make high standards of fair play the example others want to follow 

Children should not: 

  • Cheat 
  • Use violence 
  • Shout at, or argue with, officials, club mates or opponents 
  • Take banned substances to improve performance 
  • Bully or use bullying tactics to isolate another child 
  • Use unfair or bullying tactics to gain advantage 
  • Harm club mates, opponents or their property 
  • Tell lies about adults or other children 
  • Spread rumours 
  • Keep secrets about any person who may have caused them harm

Parents please note: The club is at all times concerned for the welfare of your children. In return athletes are expected to obey instructions from their coaches and refrain from behaviour that is either unsociable or likely to cause injury to themselves or others For safety reasons athletes must wear bright clothing at night/winter training sessions and a reflective strip.

Dundrum South Dublin Athletic Club Child Protection / Coach Protection Club Policy

All trips involving under 18s are to be approved in advance by the committee or if there is no committee meeting to be held in advance of the trip, by the Head Coach and Chairman. The appropriate person to approach the committee or the Head Coach / Chairman is the coach organising the trip. The coach organising the trip must (a) ensure that another adult over the age of 25, preferably of the opposite sex, will also be going on the trip. Preferably, that adult should not also be competing on the trip and (b) ensure that all athletes going on the trip have paid their subs and are fully registered through the club with the AAI. “Trips” are defined as any athletics event either in Ireland or abroad, to which one or more individual athletes as members of the club are being brought by a coach, registered with the club. All club training sessions involving under 18s attended by a coach should ideally also be attended by an adult over the age of 25, preferably of the opposite sex, and preferably not also participating in training. No coach, either at an event, on a trip or at training should carry out treatment of any kind on an athlete under the age of 18, without at least one adult over the age of 25 also present. Ideally, no lifts are to be given to athletes under the age of 18 by coaches, to or from training or events, unless the athlete is accompanied or an adult over the age of 25 is also present. The club should actively encourage parents of under 18s to arrange for their children to be dropped off at training and to be collected from training. It is the duty of committee members who have any concern whatsoever over the implementation of these Rules to bring any such concern to the attention of the following committee meeting or if the circumstances warrant urgent consideration, to the immediate attention of the Head Coach and Chairman. The committee shall enquire into any concerns brought before it and will have the power to take whatever action it deems appropriate. The club shall endeavour to put a rota of adults in place, in relation to attendance at all training sessions.

The above policy has been formally adopted by the DSD Club Committee on the 10th day of July 2007. 

 

 

 

 

Training Guidelines for Children

These are guidelines on safe amounts of training for children put together by Mary Gowing, one of DSD AC's lead coaches and a qualified physiotherapist. This was reviewed by all the coaches and it has been agreed to circulate this to all the parents at training. It is here for reference by any adult/parent with an interest in children's training.

 

Click Here for Guidelines (Opens a New Window)