Child Welfare

Coaches, Mentors and Trainers All coaches, mentors and trainers (referred to hereafter as coaches) should ensure that young people andchildren benefit significantly from our games by promoting a positive, healthy and participatory approachin our work with underage players. In developing the skills levels of every player, Coaches should alwaysencourage enjoyment and fun while ensuring meaningful participation in our games and activities.Coaches should always remember that they are role models for the players in their care. RECRUITMENT OF COACHES All Coaches working with young people and children are required to be suitable for their chosen role(s),and should be appropriately trained, qualified and supported to fulfil such roles. All persons working orvolunteering for such roles are require to undertake agreed vetting and background Police checks and toattend coaching and training courses relevant to their roles. COACHES SHOULD MAINTAIN A CHILD CENTRED APPROACH • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person. • Treat each person equally regardless of age, gender, ability, ethnic origin, cultural background or religion. • Be positive during coaching sessions, games and other activities so that underage players alwaysleave with a sense of achievement and an increased level of self-esteem. • Recognise the development needs and capacity of all underage players, regardless of their ability,by emphasising participation for all while avoiding excessive training and competition. Skillsdevelopment and personal satisfaction should have priority over competition when working withunderage players. • Develop an understanding of relevant coaching methods and ensure that they have theappropriate level of coaching accreditation. • Do not equate losing with failure and do not develop a preoccupation with medals and trophies.The level of improvement made by underage players is the best indicator of effective coaching. COACHES SHOULD LEAD BY EXAMPLE • Never use foul language or provocative language/gestures to a player, opponent or match official. • Only enter the field of play with the Referee’s permission. • Do not question a Referee’s decisions or integrity. • Encourage players to respect and accept the judgement of match officials. • Promote Fair Play. • Promote the RESPECT campaign. • Do not smoke while working with underage players. • Do not consume alcohol or non prescribed drugs immediately prior to or while underage playersare in your care. • Encourage parents to become involved in your team and Club activities wherever possible.Our Games Our Code Code of Best Practice in Youth Sport page 9 CONDUCT OF COACHES WHEN WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE • Develop an appropriate working relationship with children based on mutual trust and respect. • Challenge Bullying in any form whether physical or emotional. Bullying is not acceptable behaviourbe it from a young person, coach, parent/guardian, spectator or match official. • Don’t shout at or lecture players or reprimand/ridicule them when they make a mistake. Childrenlearn best through trial and error. Children and young people should not be afraid to risk error so asto learn. • The use of any form of physical punishment is prohibited as is any form of physical response tomisbehaviour, unless it is by way of restraint. • Avoid incidents of horse play or role play or telling jokes etc. that could be misinterpreted. • Never undertake any form of therapy or hypnosis, in the training of children. AVOID COMPROMISING YOUR ROLE AS A COACH Some activities may require coaches to come into physical contact with underage players in the course oftheir duties. However, coaches should; • Avoid taking coaching sessions on your own. • Only deliver one to one coaching, if deemed necessary, in a group setting. • Avoid unnecessary physical contact with an underage player and never engage in inappropriatetouching of a player • Be aware that any necessary contact should be determined by the age and development of theplayer and should only take place with the permission and understanding of the player and in an open environment in the context of developing a player’s skills and abilities. BEST PRACTICE • As a coach always be punctual and properly attired. • Ensure that all of your players are suitably and safely attired to play their chosen sport. e.g.helmets, goggles (Handball), shin guards, mouthguards. • Keep a record of attendance at training and at games by both players and coaches. • Ensure that all dressing rooms and the general areas that are occupied by your players and otherClub personnel, prior to, during or immediately following the completion of any match are kept clean and are not damaged in any way. • Be accompanied by at least one other adult in underage team dressing rooms. • Set realistic – stretching but achievable – performance goals for your players and team. • Rotate the team captaincy and the method used for selecting teams so that the same children are not always selected to the exclusion of others. • Keep a record of any injuries and action subsequently taken. Ensure that another official referee/team mentor is present when a player is being attended to and can corroborate the relevant details. • Make adequate provision for First Aid services. • Do not encourage or permit players to play while injured. • Be aware of any special medical or dietary requirements of players as indicated on the medicalconsent/registration forms or as informed by parents/guardians.Our Games Our Code Code of Best Practice in Youth Sport page 10 • With the expressed permission of parents/guardians be willing to keep necessary and emergency medication of players in a safe and accessible place for administration in accordance with the wishes of the parents/guardians. • Do not administer medication or medical aid unless you are willing to do so and have received the necessary training to administer such aid. • Use mobile phones, if deemed appropriate, only via a group text or email system for communicating with the parents/guardians of players. Any exception to this form of group texting can only be proceeded with following permission from parents/guardians. (See Appendix1 Juvenile Membership Application Form ). • Do not communicate individually by text/email with underage players. • Do not engage in communications with underage players via social network sites. • Encourage parents/guardians to play an active role in organising and assisting various activities for your teams and your Club. • If it is necessary to transport a child/young person in your car, ensure that they are seated in a rear seat with seat belts securely fastened. • With the exception of their own child a coach should not transport a child alone, except in emergency or exceptional circumstances Our Games Our Code Code of Best Practice in Youth Sport page 11 Parents/Guardians Parents/Guardians have an influential role to play in assisting and encouraging their children to fully participate in Gaelic Games, whether by playing our games or attending training or coaching sessions. In common with coaches and Club personnel the parents/guardians of underage players should act as role models for their children as they participate in Gaelic Games. PARENTS/GUARDIANS SHOULD ENCOURAGE THEIR CHILD TO: • Always play by the rules. • Improve their skills levels. • Appreciate everybody on their team, regardless of ability. • Maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle with regard to exercise, food, rest and play. Advice may be sought if necessary from Club officials on this issue. PARENTS/GUARDIANS SHOULD LEAD BY EXAMPLE: • Adopt a positive attitude to their children’s participation in our games. • Respect officials’ decisions and encourage children to do likewise. • Do not exert undue pressure on your child. • Never admonish your own child or any other child for their standard of play. • Be realistic in their expectations. • Show approval for effort, not just results. • Avoid asking a child or young person, ‘How much did you score today’ or ‘What did you win by’ or ‘What did you lose by.’ Ask them ‘Did they enjoy themselves.’ • Never embarrass a child or use sarcastic remarks towards a player. • Applaud good play from all teams. • Do not criticise playing performances. Identify how improvements may be made. • Do not seek to unfairly affect a game or player. • Do not enter the field of play unless specifically invited to do so by an official in charge. PARENTS/GUARDIANS SHOULD: • Complete and return the registration/permission and medical consent forms for their child’s participation in the Club. • Inform the coaches, and any other relevant Club personnel, of any changes in their child’s medical or dietary requirements prior to coaching sessions, games or other activities. • Ensure that their child punctually attends coaching sessions/games or other activities. • Provide their child with adequate clothing and equipment as may be required for the playing of our games including for example helmets, shin guards, mouthguards etc. • Ensure that the nutrition/hydration and hygiene needs of their child are met. Our Games Our Code Code of Best Practice in Youth Sport page 12 • Listen to what their child may have to say. • Show approval whether the team wins, loses or draws a game. • Never attempt to meet their own needs and aspirations for success and achievement through their children’s participation in games. PARENTS/GUARDIANS SHOULD ASSIST THEIR CLUB BY: • Showing appreciation to volunteers, coaches and Club officials. • Attending training and games on a regular basis. • Assisting in the organising of Club activities and events as requested. • Respecting the rights, dignity and worth of every person and by treating each one equally regardless of age, gender, ability, ethnic origin, cultural background or religion. • Not entering team dressing rooms unless deemed necessary by the team coach (es) so as to protect the privacy of other underage players. PARENTS/GUARDIANS HAVE THE RIGHT TO: • Know their child is safe and to make a complaint if they believe that their child’s safety is in any way compromised. • Be informed of problems/concerns relating to their child. • Be informed if their child gets injured. • Complain if they have concerns about the standard of coaching. • Have a say in relation to decisions being made within the Club.

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