Child Protection has never been a more important issue for swimming clubs and we at Dunstable Swimming Club are doing everything we can to ensure that our swimmers can train and compete in a safe manner. We carry out Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks in respect of all adults who have one-to-one contact with children, and this applies to coaches, team managers, officials, master’s swimmers and adult helpers.
We have formally adopted the ASA Child Protection procedures (a pre-requisite for our ASA affiliation), and this details how we should deal with any allegation or suspected case of abuse.
This policy aims to:
- Encourage good relationships between swimmers
- Develop trust between swimmers, coaches and families
- Prevent problems occurring
- Suggest ways of dealing with problems should they arise
- Develop an understanding that developing positive relationships and resolving differences are shared responsibilities between the swimmer, the family and the club.
Definition of Bullying
Bullying can take many forms, but for a swimmer being bullied, it can include:
- Being repeatedly picked on
- Being hit, kicked or threatened with physical violence
- Being subject to nasty or offensive comments
- Not being spoken to
If two swimmers of equal power or strength have an occasional quarrel, this is not bullying.
Strategies for Dealing with Bullying
On receiving a report of an incident of bullying, the person receiving the report should:
- Listen, reassure and take the matter seriously
- Record the nature of the bullying, the background and the frequency
- Inform the club welfare officer, his/her deputy or the club chairman
- Speak to the swimmer alleged to have carried out the bullying – listen and record what they say
- Consider both sides of the incident
- Report back to the victim
- Suggest action to re-establish positive relationships between the two parties
- Support the victim and encourage them to be assertive
- Help the alleged bully challenge his/her behaviour
- If appropriate, consider punishments, such as withdrawl from swimming sessions for a period
- Ensure the family are informed
- Monitor the behaviour
Action for Swimmers
- If you feel you are being bullied, tell a coach or other adult helper in whom you can confide
- Tell the person responsible that you want them to stop – be prepared to say “NO”
- Try to ignore comments and not to react
- Do not give the bully any power – remember, the bully has the problem – NOT YOU!
- If you witness any bullying of others, tell someone
Action for Parents
- Encourage your child to talk about what happens at Otters
- Listen and take seriously any reports of bullying
- Try to establish the facts
- Contact your child’s coach, the club Welfare Officer or any committee member
- Work with the club to develop strategies to support your child
- Remember that keeping your child at home does not solve the problem
- If your child is responsible for bullying, make it clear that such behaviour is unacceptable – work with the club to develop strategies to change behaviour
Policy for disabled swimmers
Dunstable Swimming Club is committed to ensuring that all swimmers are given every opportunity to be active and fulfilled members whether they are able or disabled.
Dunstable Swimming Club has a policy of integrating disabled swimmers into the existing structure wherever possible. Where it is clear that we cannot provide a suitable environment for a disabled swimmer and it is clear this cannot be easily resolved, Dunstable Swimming Club will use it’s links with local organisations to actively find suitable clubs and facilities.
Dunstable Swimming Club endeavours to work closely with the pool management to ensure that suitable facilities are available for disabled swimmers.
Dunstable Swimming Club endeavours to send it’s poolside staff on recognised courses such as ‘Working with Disabled Sportspeople’, to give them the appropriate skills to help understand the needs of prospective members.
Dunstable Swimming Club endeavours to recognise and maintain a link with local bodies, such as the local authority, to help integrate disabled sportspeople into swimming.
Dunstable Swimming Club endeavours to recognise and maintain links with local organisations that have more appropriate facilities to support disabled sportspeople in order to provide alternative options to encourage disabled people into swimming.