Everyone working in Rugby Union has a role to play in safeguarding the welfare of young people under the age of 18 playing youth rugby and preventing abuse of young players. The welfare of young players is paramount and all young players under 18, whatever their age, culture, disability, religious belief or sexual identity, have the right to protection from abuse. Scarborough RUFC (The Club) has both a moral and legal obligation to ensure that it provides young players with the highest possible standard of care when they are involved in Club activities. The Club recognises it has a responsibility:

  • To safeguard and promote the interests and well-being of young players in rugby.
  • To take all reasonable practical steps to protect young players from harm, discrimination, or degrading treatment.
  • To respect the rights, wishes and feelings of young players.

As a result, the Club is committed to a policy of child protection procedures that will ensure viable safeguards to young players, coaches, volunteers and Club members by establishing proper recruitment, provision of support, and appropriate training.

Additionally, all new rugby coaches and other rugby volunteers at the Club involved with young people will complete and submit a Criminal Records Bureau registration form.

The Club’s Child Protection Policy and the Club’s Codes of Conduct for all aspects of young persons rugby will be posted on the Club’s website and posted on the Club’s noticeboards. All youth rugby coaches and other youth rugby volunteers involved at the Club are required to familiarize themselves with the Club’s Child Protection Policy and abide by it.

Allegations of a breach of the Club’s Child Protection Policy will be investigated in accordance with RFU disciplinary procedures.

The Club's Child Protection Policy

The details of The Club’s Child Protection Policy are:

  • The Club recognises the value of working closely in partnership with coaches of young people, parents, professionals and volunteers to protect its young players from harm and discrimination.
  • The Club acknowledges that abuse does take place in sport and that raising awareness and understanding of the main forms of abuse and establishing communication and reporting procedures if abuse is suspected within the Club will further safeguard young players, rugby coaches, rugby volunteers and all others working within the game of rugby.
  • A Welfare Officer (formerly referred to at the Club as its Child Protection Officer) has been appointed to act as the first point of contact for concerns about the welfare of players within the Club.
  • Each rugby squad at the Club will nominate an adult who will be responsible for liaising with the Welfare Officer in respect of child protection matters in general and those particularly relating to that squad.
  • The Club accepts that all officers and committee members have a responsibility in respect of child protection and is prepared to respond to any indication of poor practice or abuse in line with RFU policy and to put in place structures and systems to ensure that this is followed in practice.
  • The Club has adopted a Code of Conduct for Rugby Coaches and Other Rugby Volunteers and will implement and enforce its terms.
  • All rugby coaches of young people and other rugby volunteers at the Club are required to complete a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure form.
  • All disciplinary matters will be dealt with in line with RFU criteria and with powers laid down by the RFU.
  • All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
  • All rugby coaches and other volunteers with responsibilities will have a job description.
  • The Club acknowledges that appropriate training will enable individuals within the Club to recognize their responsibilities with regard to their own good practice and the reporting of poor practice or concerns of possible abuse.
  • All the Club’s coaches working with young players will be expected to complete an appropriate RFU coaching course.
  • Other rugby volunteers will be encouraged to seek appropriate training to assist them in the conduct of their role at the Club.
  • The Club will encourage rugby coaches of young people and rugby volunteers to stay up-to-date with rugby, coaching, and child protection issues.
  • The Club will keep written records of attendance (Appendix 1), parental consent (Appendix 2), and accidents.
  • The Club will promote fair play and playing within the spirit of the Laws of the Game and the letter of the Continuum Equity policy statement
  • This club is committed to ensuring that equity is incorporated across all aspects of its development.

In doing so it acknowledges and adopts the following Sport England definition of sports equity:

  • Sports equity is about fairness in sport, equality of access, recognising inequalities and taking steps to address them. It is about changing the culture and structure of sport to ensure it becomes equally accessible to everyone in society.
  • The club respects the rights, dignity and worth of every person and will treat everyone equally within the context of their sport, regardless of age, ability, gender, race, ethnicity, religious belief, sexuality or social/economic status.
  • The club is committed to everyone having the right to enjoy their sport in an environment free from threat of intimidation, harassment and abuse.
  • All club members have a responsibility to oppose discriminatory behaviour and promote equality of opportunity.
  • The club will deal with any incidence of discriminatory behaviour seriously.

Fair Play for All

In these days of competitive league rugby at Senior level and a pervading culture of winning at all costs, it is important not to forget the reasons why young players participate in and enjoy the game of Rugby Union.

The idea of “Fair Play” should be a constant reference point for all those people involved in the Mini and Youth game. To lose sight of this would be detrimental to everyone.

In Rugby Union the Partnership between team management and parents is positively encouraged through:

  • Agreeing issues relating to Duty of Care (e.g. responsibility for traveling to and from games).
  • Encouraging parents to attend coaching sessions and games and making them aware that the “win at all costs” ethos is not accepted in Rugby Union.
  • Ensuring that parents have realistic aspirations for their child and are aware of his/her strengths and weaknesses.
  • Informing parents about specialist equipment that is required (e.g. gum shields), and where it can be purchased from.
  • Ensuring parents are aware of what is acceptable touchline behaviour.

And above all:

  • Involving parents in peripheral activities which make them feel they ‘belong’, especially if it involves expertise which is not rugby related.

Code of Conduct for Club Officials and Volunteers

The essence of good ethical conduct and practice is summarised below. All volunteers must:

  • Consider the well-being and safety of participants before the development of performance.
  • Develop an appropriate working relationship with performers, based on mutual trust and respect.
  • Make sure all activities are appropriate to the age, ability and experience of those taking part
  • Promote the positive aspects of the sport (e.g. fair play)
  • Display consistently high standards of behaviour and appearance
  • Follow all guidelines laid down by the national governing body and the club
  • Hold the appropriate, valid qualifications and insurance cover
  • Never exert undue influence over performers to obtain personal benefit or reward
  • Never condone rule violations, rough play or the use of prohibitive substances

The Good Coaches Guide

Young people come into Rugby Union for a variety of reasons; it is the duty of the coach to recognise this and stimulate continued participation. Coaches have a responsibility to ensure that all youngsters are given the opportunity to fulfil their aspirations in a caring environment.

In Rugby Union Coaches Should:

  • Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching young players. Most learning is achieved through “doing.”
  • Appreciate the needs of the players before the needs of the sport.
  • Be a positive role model – think what this implies.
  • Keep winning and losing in perspective -encourage young players to behave with dignity in all circumstances.
  • Respect all referees and the decisions they make (remember it could be you refereeing next week) and ensure that the players recognise that they must do the same.
  • Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner, to all young players both during coaching sessions and games.

Code of Conduct for Parents/Carers

  • 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 the good performances of all.
  • Never punish or belittle a child for losing or making mistakes.
  • Publicly accept officials’ judgements.
  • Support your child’s involvement and help them to enjoy their sport.
  • Use correct and proper language at all times.

The Good Parents Code
In Rugby Union coaches and administrators both fully acknowledge that parents are an integral part of the partnership, which ensures that young players enjoy their involvement in the sport and experience an environment in which they can flourish.

In Rugby Union, parents are encouraged to:

  • Be familiar with the coaching and training programme in order that they can ensure that their child is fully involved and the coaches are aware of their availability
  • Be familiar with the teaching and coaching methods used by observing the sessions in which your child participates
  • Be aware that the club has a duty of care and therefore, where appropriate, assist coaches with the supervision of the young players, particularly where numbers are large and there is a need to transport youngsters to away games.
  • Be involved with club activities and share your expertise
  • Share concerns, if you have them, with club officials.
  • Be familiar with the “Good Coach’s Code”.

Code of Conduct for Players

  • Play because you want to do so, not to please coaches or parents
  • Remember skill development, fun and enjoyment are the most important parts of the game.
  • Be attentive at all training / coaching sessions.
  • Work equally hard for yourself and your team and both will then benefit
  • Recognise good play by ALL players on your team and by your opponents.
  • Be a sportsman – win or lose.
  • Play to the laws of the game and accept, without question, all the referee’s decisions.
  • Control your emotions. Verbal or physical abuse of team-mates, opponents, or match officials IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.
  • Treat all players, as you would like to be treated. Do not interfere with, bully or take unfair advantage of any player.

The Good Player’s Code:

Young players should recognise that many people in Rugby Union are working to provide a safe and enjoyable game in which they can develop both as a player and as an individual.

In Rugby Union Young players are encouraged to:

  • Recognise and appreciate the efforts made by coaches, parents, match officials and administrators in providing them with the opportunity to play the game and enjoy the rugby environment.
  • Understand the values of loyalty and commitment to adults and team-mates.
  • Recognise that every young player has a right to expect their involvement in rugby to be safe and free from all types of abuse.

Code of Conduct for Spectators

  • Remember children play sport for their enjoyment not yours.
  • Acknowledge good individual and team performance from ALL youngsters irrespective of which team they play for.
  • Respect match official’s decisions.
  • REMEMBER, they are volunteers providing an opportunity for youngsters to play rugby.
  • Encourage all youngsters irrespective of their ability – never ridicule any individual player, regardless of the team they play for.

The Good Spectators Code

Young rugby players are impressionable and their behaviour will often reflect that of the adults around them. In Rugby Union we welcome spectators on our touchlines who embrace the ethos of the game as one of FUN, ENJOYMENT and SKILL DEVELOPMENT.

In Rugby Union Spectator’s are encouraged to:

  • Act as positive role models to all young players.
  • Be familiar with, and abide by, the RFU Child Protection Guidance in relation to verbal and emotional abuse.
  • Respect the rugby club policy with regard to spectator behaviour
  • NEVER VERBALLY ABUSE YOUNG PLAYERS, MATCH OFFICIALS, FELLOW SPECTATORS OR COACHES.

Anti-Bullying Policy

Bullying is not easy to define, can take many forms and is usually repeated over a period of time.

The three main types of bullying are: physical (e.g. hitting, kicking), verbal (e.g. racist or homophobic remarks, threats, name calling) and emotional (e.g. isolating an individual from activities).

They will all include:

  1. Deliberate hostility and aggression towards the victim;
  2. A victim who is weaker than the bully or bullies;
  3. An outcome which is always painful and distressing for the victim.

Bullying behaviour may also include:

  1. Other forms of violence;
  2. Sarcasm, spreading rumours, persistent teasing or theft;
  3. Tormenting, ridiculing, humiliation;
  4. Racial taunts, graffiti, gestures;
  5. Unwanted physical contact or abusive or offensive comment of a sexual nature.

Scarborough RUFC does not condone or accept any form of bullying and all incidents referred to club officials will be investigated and appropriate action taken.

Guidelines for Dealing with an Medical Incident/Accident

  • Stay calm but act swiftly and observe the situation. Is there danger of further injuries?
  • Listen to what the injured person is saying.
  • Alert the first aider who should take appropriate action for minor injuries.
  • In the event of an injury requiring specialist treatment, call the emergency services.

Telephones are available in Club Office, Bar, and Barons

Office number is 01723 357740 Ext 1; Barons number is 01723 357740 Ext 2; Bar number is 01723 357740 Ext 4

Address of club is:

The J. M. Guthrie Clubhouse, Silver Royd, Scalby, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO13 0NL

  1. Deal with the rest of the group and ensure that they are adequately supervised.
  2. Do not move someone with major injuries. Wait for the emergency medics.
  3. Contact the injured person’s parent/carer using details from team manager or list in medical file.
  4. Complete the incident/accident report form below and hand in to Office for recording in the Medical File.

Recording Images of Young People

There have been concerns about the risks posed directly and indirectly to young people through the use of photographs.

Therefore, the following guidelines should be followed:

  • The photograph/recording should ideally focus on the activity.
  • Where possible, images of children/young people should be recorded in small groups (the group may comprise any combination of adults and children)
  • Clubs’ or organisations’ coaches and teachers should still be allowed to use video equipment as a legitimate coaching aid and means of recording special occasions. However, care should be taken in the dissemination and storage of the material.

Photographic Images - RFU Guidelines

While the RFU/RFUW recognises that publicity and pictures of young people enjoying rugby are essential to promote the sport and a healthy lifestyle, the following rules should be observed:

  1. Ensure parents/guardians/young people have granted their consent for the taking and publication of photographic images and have signed and returned the Parent/Guardian and Young Person Permission Form;
  2. All young people must be appropriately dressed for the activity taking place;
  3. Photography or recording should focus on the activity rather than a particular young person and personal details which might make a young person vulnerable, such as their exact address, should never be revealed;
  4. Where an individual has achieved success in the game (e.g. when selected for representative side or showing triumph over adversity), permission must be gained from a parent/guardian and the young person to use photographs/recordings and relevant details;
  5. Where possible, to reflect the RFU/RFUW Equity Policy, photographs/recordings should represent the diverse range of young people participating in rugby;
  6. Anyone taking photographs or recording at any rugby event must have a valid reason for doing so and seek the permission of the organisers/persons in charge;
  7. They should make themselves known to the event organisers/persons in charge and be able to identify themselves if requested during the course of the event;
  8. All concerns regarding inappropriate or intrusive photography should be reported in confidence to the RFU Equity and Ethics Manager via the rugby club or Constituent Body Welfare Manager.

Summary

Protecting the welfare of young people is about putting in place the best possible practices and procedures; this will protect not only young people but also the adults in rugby.

Telephone: 0208 831 7479

Email: stevefarr@rfu.com

RFU Child Protection Lead Officer

Helen Ames

Telephone: 0208 831 7996

Email: helenames@rfu.com

Club Procedures to Manage Cases of Poor Practice

Poor practice is defined as any behaviour which contravenes RFU Codes of Conduct (Fair Play Codes) or RFU Guidance for Good Practice.

  1. Once an incident is reported to the Club Welfare Officer, he/she should consult with the RFU Ethics and Equity Manager in order to ascertain whether the allegation is poor practice, bullying or abuse;
  2. Once the incident has been identified as poor practice and, in consultation with senior club officials (Club Chairman/Youth Chairman), a decision will be made whether or not to suspend, temporarily, the person accused. Each case will be considered on its merits;
  3. A disciplinary hearing may be called. The panel should be made up of three club members with regard to the following criteria:
    • No person who has been involved in bringing the case to the disciplinary hearing should sit on the panel;
    • Senior management of the club must be represented;
    • If the case relates to poor coaching practice experience in this field must be represented.
  4. The accused will be advised of receipt of the report and provided with copies;
  5. The accused will be invited to attend the hearing which must be held at a convenient time for him/her;
  6. The accused must be given sufficient advanced notice;
  7. The accused must be given the opportunity to offer his/her side of the story and call witnesses;
  8. Once the disciplinary panel reaches a decision it should be communicated to the accused and confirmed in writing;
  9. A copy of the finding should be sent to the CB Welfare Officer and RFU Ethics and Equity Manager.

Power of the Club Disciplinary Panel

  1. Temporary suspension;
  2. Person may only coach whilst supervised;
  3. Coach must undertake RFU Best Practice and Child Protection course;
  4. Coach must attend ScUk ‘Good Practice and Child Protection’ course;
  5. Coach must attend appropriate RFU coaching course.