Codes of Conduct

The Code for Young People
As an athlete you have rights and responsibilities. The following code will help identify these for you – if you are not sure ask your parent or your Club Children’s Officer to explain them.

This is YOUR Code, whatever your ability or wherever you take part and you should encourage others to follow it.

In your sport you should:

  • Be happy, have fun and enjoy taking part and being involved in your sport
  • Be treated fairly by everyone, adults and other athletes
  • Feel safe and secure when you are taking part in your sport
  • Be listened to and allowed to reply
  • Be treated with dignity, sensitivity and respect
  • Have a voice in the decisions that affect you within the Club and Swim Ireland
  • Say no to something which makes you feel uncomfortable
  • Train and compete at a level that is suitable for your age, development and ability
  • Know that any details that are about you are treated with confidentiality

Your responsibilities are to:

  • Treat Leaders who may be teachers, coaches, team managers, officials or other parents with respect
  • Be fair at all times, do your best to achieve your goals; be gracious if you do not achieve your goals
  • Respect other athletes and your opponents
  • Be part of the team and respect and support other team members both when they do well and when things go wrong;
  • Never bully or use bullying actions against another person; you should never hurt other team members, athletes or your opponent, this includes never taking/damaging their property, never spreading rumours or telling lies about other young people or adults
  • Keep to rules and guidelines set by Swim Ireland, the Region and your Club and make sure you understand the rules e.g. if you play a team sport what contact is allowed; as a swimmer in competitions what togs are allowed
  • Take part in your sport without cheating; you are responsible for not cheating and must not allow others to force you to cheat
  • Listen to and respect decisions made by others; if you feel unjustly treated you can talk to your Club Children’s Officer or your parents;
  • Behave in a manner that is respectful towards Swim Ireland, your region and your club
  • Never use violence or bad language; do not shout or argue with leaders, team mates or opposing participants – talk to someone if you are upset or angry or if someone has caused you to be upset or angry
  • Talk with your Coach, Team Captain, Club Children’s Officer or a trusted Swim Ireland member if you have any difficulties or do not understand something; you should never keep secrets about any person who may have caused you harm or has made you feel upset
  • Understand sport can be hard work and requires discipline to achieve your goals; you should understand the commitment and attendance needed – set at a level for what you want to achieve; talk through any worries or concerns with your parent and/or your Club Children’s Officer
  • Do not, or allow others to make you, try or take banned substances to improve your performance

The Code for Parents/Guardians
As a parent /guardian you should help and support the implementation of best practise policies in Bluefin Swim Club by following the code below.

  • Become members of the Club and contribute your time and effort in the daily running of the Club; no club can operate successfully and safely without the help of volunteers
  • Understand and ensure your child/children abide by The Code for Young People
  • Be available for specified duties if and when required; some duties eg parent on duty are mandatory and form part of the procedures for safeguarding your children; some will be at the request of the Club.
  • Have an awareness of and respect for Leaders and other adults and their roles within the Club
  • Respect and abide by the decisions made by the Committee and other Leaders, these should be made in the best interests of the children in the Club
  • Understand the complaints process and follow the proper procedure if you feel unjustly treated, with the knowledge that any complaint will be dealt with effectively and confidentially
  • Know your child’s training and/or competitive programme, and accept it is your responsibility for delivering and collecting your child/children. Parents/guardians should ensure they do not leave their child/children waiting unsupervised at any time
  • Ensure the environment is safe and enjoyable for your child/children
  • Promote fair play and the positive aspects of sport
  • Be a role model for your children and young people by maintaining the highest standards of personal conduct and respectful behaviour in any activity related to the Club or Swim Ireland.
  • Allow your child to focus their efforts and success in terms of their goals rather than winning being the main objective
  • Promote participation for children that is fun, safe and in the spirit of fair play
  • Ensure appropriate leaders are informed regarding any absenteeism, medical conditions or other relevant matters concerning your child
  • Arrange an appropriate time and place for discussing any matter with leaders and coaches; communication should not take place whilst leaders and coaches are in a position of supervision or responsible for other young people
  • You should have the opportunity to put forward suggestions and comments
  • Provide the Club and your child with emergency contact information and to be reasonably available in case of emergency
  • Abide by the procedures and policies in this document especially with regard to the use of mobile phones, any type of camera and videoing equipment.
  • Be aware and abide by the Code of Ethics, this document, the rules and constitution of Swim Ireland and the rules and constitution of Bluefin Swim Club

The Code for Leaders and Coaches/Teachers
You must follow the points stated in the code of conduct as described below:

  • Be familiar with and follow the required procedures in the Code of Ethics, this document, Swim Ireland rules and Regional and Bluefin Club rules
  • Carry out your duties and responsibilities understanding that the welfare of children is paramount
  • Where relevant you should be qualified for your position and have obtained up-to-date knowledge and skills as required by Swim Ireland
  • Create a safe and enjoyable environment for children by:
    – Planning and preparing appropriately and be positive during sessions
    – Making sure all levels of participation should be enjoyable and fun,
    – Prioritising skill development and personal satisfaction over highly structured competition
    – Setting age appropriate and realistic goals
    – Avoiding favouritism – each child will need attention according to their sporting needs
    – Praising and encouraging effort as well as results
    – Showing respect for all involved, children and adults
  • Recognise and ensure the welfare of children by:
    – Keeping attendance records
    – Not exposing a child to criticism, hostility or sarcasm
    – Never swearing at, ridiculing, shouting unnecessarily or arguing with a child
    – Being aware of a child’s developmental needs and how a child may be psychologically or physically affected (if relevant for your role)
    – Working in an open environment
    – Ensuring there is adequate supervision
    – Involving and updating parents, especially if a problem has arisen
    – Respecting a child’s sensitivity to their height and weight
    – Never using physical punishment or force
    – Not using verbal or physical punishments or exclusion for mistakes
  • Do not allow or engage in bullying behaviour, rough physical games, sexually provocative games, never allow or engage in inappropriate physical contact of any kind or make sexually suggestive comments about or to a child
  • Co-operate with the recommendations from medical and ancillary practitioners in the management of a child’s medical or related problems. You may request a certificate of medical fitness to ensure safe continued participation
  • Avoid carrying out any medical testing or giving advice of a personal or medical nature if not qualified to do so or undertake any form of therapy (hypnosis etc.) in the training of children. Any such activity, if qualified, must only be with parent/guardian consent and the understanding of the child
  • Keep any information in relation to a swimmer of a personal or medical nature strictly confidential unless the welfare of the child requires the passing on of this information.
  • Never exert undue influence over a participant in order to obtain personal benefit or reward.
  • Acknowledge the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco is incompatible with a healthy approach to sporting activity and must be discouraged. Avoid the use of alcohol at all times whilst responsible for young people e.g. training sessions, events and on trips with young people

The Code for Committees
Committees should follow the points as below:

  • Be familiar with the Code of Ethics, this document, Swim Ireland Rules and any Regional and/or Bluefin Swim Club rules
  • Within a Club ensure and approve the appointments of Club Children’s Officers (non-committee) and a Designated Person (on committee)
  • Carry out your required duties for Swim Ireland, Region or Club understanding that the welfare of children is paramount
  • Follow the Swim Ireland policies and procedures so that all activities are in accordance with this document:
    – Create safe environment for young people
    – Ensure the codes of conduct are in place for all involved
    – Provide adequate supervision for training sessions with attendance record being kept
    – Recruit volunteers/employees including vetting and training is completed
    – Understand and implement the complaints and disciplinary procedures
    – Ensure safe induction and supervision of volunteers/employees
    – Ensure other activities follow procedures e.g. away trips
    – All required procedures contained in this document are adopted
  • Ensure complaints including rumours are not ignored and dealt with appropriately, following the relevant procedures including
    – Recording all incidents
    – Reporting the incident/accident or injury
    – Informing the parent or guardian (if child involved)
  • Keep and store securely all documentation with respect to meetings, correspondence and minutes of committee meetings together with General Meetings, including the Treasurers report
  • Set up, maintain, revise and implement rules in the best interests of Swim Ireland, the Region or Club. Rules should not contravene any Swim Ireland rules and must be communicated to the relevant members.
  • Ensure effective communications with members through recognised means e.g. e-mail, web posting, use of noticeboards, etc.
  • Inform parents/guardians in advance and obtain consent for children to be involved in events outside the normal activities within the aquatic disciplines e.g. fun day out, fundraising.
  • Inform parents/guardians where a matter or problem arises relating to their child
  • Monitor with the Children’s Officer any changes in membership and any unusual dropout, absenteeism or Club transfers by children or leaders. Ensure these are followed up to determine the reason for the trend.
  • Children’s Officers and Coaches must be invited to at least 50% of committee meetings per annum to report and advise the Committee. Children’s Officers and Coaches/Teachers may not be appointed/elected members of the committee

Competitive Swimming in Galway