SLFC will take all reasonable steps to ensure that coaches, managers and volunteers are suitable
to work with children and young people. All coaches, managers and volunteers are required to
complete an application/self-declaration form, giving the names of two referees who will then be
contacted. Written references will then be verified and kept on file.
All coaches/volunteers subject to Garda clearance
All appointments are subject to approval and ratification by the committee of SLFC
All coaches, managers and volunteers will be subject to a sign up procedure in which they
undertake to abide by SLFC rules and FAI codes of conduct and good practice.
(Appropriate confidentiality will be maintained in regard to all application and reference forms)
Once recruited, SLFC will make all efforts to support and manage coaches, managers and
volunteers ensuring that no person is expected to work alone.
Manager, Volunteer Education & Support Policy
The Committee of SLFC are indebted to our coaches, managers and volunteers who give freely of their valuable time in providing a stimulating, challenging, supportive and fun soccer experience to children and young people in the Club.
The Committee will endeavour to support these coaches, managers and volunteers in their work by providing an environment where all activities are carried out in a safe, fun manner at all times conducted in the spirit of “Fair Play”.
SLFC will make all efforts to assist all new volunteers, managers, coaches in whatever way they can.
SLFC will provide an induction pack to all new volunteers/coaches which will familiarise them with Club rules, policies and procedures and expected codes of behaviour for children, coaches and parents/spectators.
Specifically in relation to those with no soccer background, the Committee have introduced a “Buddy” system whereby new members will accompany one of our existing coaches for a (decide on a time frame) period during which they can familiarise themselves with the Club and its members adult and children and introduce them to some basic training routines and practice models.
The Committee of Shelbourne Girls Football Club recognise the value of having appropriately qualified personnel in the club, and therefore will endeavour to support any of our coaches in the coach education process.
At no time will any coach, manager, volunteer be expected to work or deal with any problem alone and they will be assured of Committee assistance and support at all times. Also, coaches, managers and volunteers are encouraged to share ideas, expertise and support other club personnel in any way they can.
Club Safety Policy
All coaches/managers in SLFC Club have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the players with whom they work as far as possible within the limits of their control. Therefore coaches should seek to create a safe and enjoyable environment in which to play and train. (Clubs are advised to carry out a risk assessment in relation to premises, training facilities and equipment and implement appropriate safety rules)
In this respect:
· Adequate supervision must be maintained at all times. Best practice advice would advocate adult:child ratios of 2 Leaders to every 16 children (1:8), but no coach, manager or volunteer works alone (Individual Clubs would need to clarify this with their individual insurance company)
· Regular safety checks should be carried out in relation to premises, training facilities and equipment. Ensure that the FAI Goalpost safety policy is strictly adhered to at all times
· SLFC safety rules should be adhered to at all times
· Parents/guardians should be informed of the starting and finishing times of training sessions and matches.
· A first aid kit should be available at all training sessions and matches and injuries should be recorded, with a note of action taken in relation to each one. Never play injured players.
· Parents/Guardians should be notified of injuries/illness which their children incur while participating in any SLFC soccer activity.
· Records of attendance should be maintained
· Ensure the use of any recommended safety equipment
Substance Abuse Policy
In SLFC the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco shall be actively discouraged as being incompatible with a healthy approach to sporting activity.
Coaches/managers shall not smoke when taking a session or drink alcohol before taking a session.
In relation to our under-age teams SLFC shall endeavour to organise receptions and celebrations in a non-alcoholic environment and in a manner that is suitable for the age group concerned.
Where this is not possible, the Club will comply with the Football Association of Ireland directive that under no circumstances whatsoever can any person under the age of 18 years consume alcohol and any and all appropriate steps should be taken to ensure that this policy is strictly adhered to.
Our coaches/managers/committee shall act as role models for appropriate behaviour and refrain from drinking alcohol at such functions
The appointment of Club Children’s Officers is an essential element in the creation of a quality atmosphere in any club. They act as a resource to members with regard to children’s issues and also ensure that children have a voice in the running of the club and can freely talk of their experiences.
Government guidelines advise that a children’s officer should be appointed by all clubs and this should be done in accordance with recommended selection and recruitment procedures. The appointment of this person should be carried out in consultation with juvenile members and their parent/guardians.
The League/Club Children’s Officer should have the following functions:
To promote the Code of Ethics & Good Practice
To influence policy and practice and to prioritise children’s needs
To ensure that children know how and whom they can report their concerns to within the club. Information disclosed by a child should be dealt with in accordance with the Department of Health and Children’s Guidelines “Children First”
To encourage the participation of parents/guardians in club activities
To co-operate with parents to ensure that each child enjoys his/her participation in soccer
To act as a resource with regard to best practice in children’s soccer
To report regularly to the Club Management Committee
To monitor changes in membership and follow up any unusual dropout, absenteeism or club transfers by children or coach/volunteers
Club/League Children’s Officers do not have the responsibility of investigating or validating child protection concerns within the club and have no counselling or therapeutic role. This responsibility lies with the HSE and Gardaí.
SLFC have appointed ---------------------------
Children’s Officer and she can be contacted on
Guidance on the Use of Photographic and Filming Equipment
Many people use cameras and video equipment at soccer activities and the vast majority, do so for perfectly legitimate reasons. However there is evidence that people have used sporting events to take inappropriate photographs and video footage of children and young people in vulnerable positions.
SLFC has adopted a policy in relation to the use of images of players on their websites and in other publications.
Where possible we will try to use models or illustrations when promoting an activity and avoid the use of the first name and surname of individuals in a photograph. This reduces the risk of inappropriate, unsolicited attention from people within and outside the sport.
Rules to guide use of photography:
· If the player is named, avoid using their photograph.
· If a photograph is used, avoid naming the player.
· Ask for the player’s/ parents’ permission to use their image. This ensures that they are aware of the way the image is to be used to represent the sport. A player’s /players permission form is one way of achieving this.
· Ask for parental permission to use their image. This ensures that they are aware of the way the image is to be used to represent the sport. A parental permission form is one way of achieving this.
· Only use images of players in suitable dress to reduce the risk of inappropriate use. The content of the photograph should focus on the activity not on a particular child
Create recognised procedures for reporting the use of inappropriate images to reduce the risks to players. Follow the child protection procedures, ensuring either the designated person or, if necessary, the health boards and/or Gardaí are informed.
Amateur photographers/film/video operators wishing to record an event or practice session should seek permission/accreditation with the children’s officer, team manager/coach and/or event organiser of session. This club / organisation will display the following information prior to the start of an event to inform spectators of the policy:
“In line with the recommendation in the SLFC, the promoters of this event request that any person wishing to engage in any video, zoom or close range photography should register their details with the organisers. Children and young people should only be photographed or filmed with their permission and/or the permission of their parents/guardian”.
When commissioning professional photographers or inviting the press to an activity or event we will aim to ensure they are clear about our expectations of them in relation to child protection.
Professional photographers/film/video operators wishing to record an event or practice session should seek accreditation with the children’s officer/event organiser/team manager by producing their professional identification for the details to be recorded.
We will then:
Provide a clear brief about what is considered appropriate in terms of content and behaviour
Issue the photographer with identification which must be worn at all times
Keep a record of accreditations
Inform players and parents that a photographer will be in attendance at an event and ensure they consent to both the taking and publication of films or photographs
Not allow unsupervised access to athletes or one to one photo sessions at events
not approve/allow photo sessions outside the events or at an athlete’s home
Videoing as a coaching aid: Video equipment can be used as a legitimate coaching aid. However, permission should first be obtained from the player and the player’s parent/carer.
Clubs should also be aware of the dangers of permitting camera phones in dressing rooms and should apply appropriate safety rules.
Anyone concerned about any photography taking place at events/matches or training sessions should bring their concerns to the attention of the committee/team manager/coach children’s officer.
Mobile phones are often given to children for security, enabling parents to keep in touch and make sure they are safe. Young people value their phones highly as it offers them a sense of independence. In addition mobile phones allow quick and easy contact, which can make a safe and efficient way to carry out club business. However such technology has also allowed an increase in direct personal contact with young people, in some cases used to cross personal boundaries and cause harm to young people. Therefore, we need to encourage responsible and secure use of mobile phones by adults and young people.
Therefore club personnel should advise children:
If you receive an offensive photo, email or message, do not reply, save it, make a note of times and dates and tell a parent or children’s officer/designated person within the club.
Be careful about who you give your phone number to and don’t respond to unfamiliar numbers
Change your phone number in cases of bullying or harassment
Don’t use the phone in certain locations; inappropriate use of your camera phone may cause upset or offence to another person, e.g. changing rooms
Treat your phone as you would any other valuable item so that you guard against theft
As a coach/manager remember:
Use only group texts for communication among players (Parents of Players under 16 should be text and not players) and teams. Inform parents of this at the start of the season
If using Social media network, do not have a private chat with players under 16.
It is not appropriate to have constant communication for individual players
Don’t use the phone in certain locations; inappropriate use of your camera phone may cause upset or offence to another person, e.g. changing rooms
when travelling with young people coaches/volunteers of SLFC should:
Travel is approved by the Committee
Ensure that there is adequate insurance cover
Not carry more than the permitted number of passengers
Ensure the use of safety belts
Keep to the rules of the road
Avoid being alone with one player; if with one player you could: put the passenger in the back seat, drop off at central locations, get parental permission for transporting children on a regular basis, and clearly state times of pick off and drop off.
All managers/volunteers of SLFC are advised that:
Any necessary physical contact should be in response to the needs of the child and not the adult
It should be in an open environment with the permission and full understanding of the player
It should be determined by the age and developmental stage of the player. You should not anything that a child can do for him/herself
Coaches should not treat injuries out of sight of others. Use a "Two-Deep" (two personnel, or two players) supervision system. Only personnel who are qualified in administering First Aid or treating sports injuries should attempt to treat an injury.
The comfort level and dignity of the player should always be the priority. Example: Only uncover the injured area, or cover private areas of the athlete's body.
Any doubts of a medical nature should be passed on to a suitably qualified medical person.
Coaches should not play injured players.
Comforting/congratulating players is an important part of the relationship between coaches and players.
Guidelines for this type of touch are:
Limit touching to "safe" areas, such as hand-to-shoulder. It should not involve touching genital area, buttocks, breasts, or mouths.
Make your intention to congratulate or comfort clear to the player.
Get permission from the player before embracing them - remember that personnel are in the position of power.
Respect a players discomfort or rejection of physical contact.
Be sure that touching occurs only when others are present.
Avoid unnecessary physical contact and never engage in inappropriate touching
Guidance on the use of Sanctions
Discipline in Soccer
Discipline in soccer should always be positive in focus, providing the structures and rules that allow players to set their own goals and strive for them. It should encourage players to become more responsible for themselves and their actions and therefore more independent.
Discipline should be a positive reinforcement for effort. It should encourage the development of emotional and social skills as well as skills in soccer. Players have to be helped to become responsible for the decisions and choices they make within soccer, particularly when it is likely to make a difference between playing fairly or unfairly.
There is no place in soccer for fighting, bullying, over aggressive or dangerous behaviour.
At all times, players should treat others in a respectful manner. They should never bully, interfere with or take unfair advantage of others.
The use of sanctions is an important element in the maintenance of discipline. However Coaches/Managers/Volunteers and Administrators should have a clear understanding of where and when particular sanctions are appropriate.
It should be remembered that effectively controlled organisations and successful coaches/managers/volunteers are characterised by the sparring use of sanctions. The age and developmental stage of the child should be taken into account when using sanctions.
Sanctions should always be fair, consistent and applied evenly, and in the case of a persistent offence, should be progressively applied.
The following steps are suggested:
· Rules should be clearly stated and agreed
· A warning should be given if a rule is broken
· A sanction (use of time out for example) should be applied if a rule is broken for a second time
· If a rule is broken three or more times, the child should be spoken to and parents/guardians involved if necessary
· Sanctions should only be used in a corrective way that is intended to help children improve both now and in the future. They should never be used in retaliation or to make coach/manager/volunteer feel better or more powerful
· When violations of the team rules or other misbehaviours occur, sanctions should always be applied in an impartial and fair manner
· Sanctions should never be used as threats. If a rule is broken, the appropriate sanction/s should implemented consistently, fairly and firmly · Sanctions should not be applied if the coach/manager/volunteer is not comfortable with them. If an appropriate action cannot be devised immediately, the child should be told that the matter will be dealt with later, at a specified time and as soon as is possible
· Once a sanction/s has been imposed, it is important to make the child feel s/he is a valued member of the team again
· A child should be helped, to understand if necessary why sanction/s are imposed
· A child should not be sanctioned for making errors whilst playing soccer
· Physical activity (e.g. running laps or doing push ups) should not be used as a sanction as to do so may cause a child to resent physical activity which is something that s/he should learn to enjoy throughout his/her life. Remember Soccer has to be Fun if participants are to continue playing
· Sanctions should be used sparingly. Constant criticism and sanctioning can cause participants to turn away from Soccer
Adapted from the Irish Sports Councils Code of Ethics & Good Practice for Children’s Sport (2005)