Leaders in sport should strive to create a positive environment for the people in their care. They have an overall responsibility to take the necessary steps to ensure that positive and healthy experiences are provided.[toggle title=”Wild Water Kayak Club recognises the key role leaders (instructors, trip leaders, helpers, organisers etc.) play in the lives of all people in sport…“]

  • All leaders should have as their first priority the safety and enjoyment of the sport and should adhere to the guidelines and regulations set out in the club’s Code of Ethics.
  • Leaders must respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person and must treat everyone equally, regardless of sex, ethnic origin, religion or ability.
  • Leaders working with young people in kayaking should be suitably and appropriately qualified. Leaders will be expected to go through appropriate recruitment and selection procedures that apply to all people with substantial access to young people whether paid or unpaid. References will be needed and will be followed up.
  • There will be a sign up procedure, whereby the appointed / reappointed leaders agree to abide by the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children in Sport and to the policies and code of the club.
  • Leaders should act as a role model and promote the positive aspects of sport and of kayaking and maintain the highest standards of personal conduct.
  • Remember your behaviour to other leaders and participants will have an effect on the players in your care.
  • Be generous with praise and never ridicule or shout at a person for making mistakes. All people are entitled to respect.
  • Take care not to expose a young person intentionally or unintentionally to embarrassment or disparagement by use of sarcastic or flippant remarks about the person or his/her family.
  • Insist that players in your care respect the rules as laid out. Insist on fair play and ensure that players are aware that you will not tolerate cheating or bullying behaviour.
  • Remember that young people participate in sport for fun and enjoyment and that skill development and personal satisfaction have priority over highly structured competition. Never make winning the only objective.
  • Encourage the development of respect for other kayakers, leaders, and other coaches and avoid criticism of fellow kayakers.
  • When travel / overnight travel is involved, the Leaders travelling with children must sign a separate agreement. Parents and participants will also be asked to sign permission forms in these instances.
  • Leaders are responsible for setting and monitoring the boundaries between a working relationship and friendship with young persons in the club. It is advisable for senior members not to involve young persons in their personal life i.e. visits to coaches home or overnight stay.
  • Avoid working alone and ensure that there is adequate supervision for all activities. It is important to realise that certain situations or friendly actions could be misinterpreted by the participant or by outsiders.
  • When young players are invited into adult groups, it is advisable to get agreement from a parent/carer. Boundaries of behaviour in adult groups are normally different from the boundaries that apply to junior groups.
  • Leaders who become aware of a conflict between their obligation to the junior kayakers in their care and their obligation to their governing body must make explicit the nature of the conflict and the loyalties and responsibilities involved, to all parties concerned.
  • Set realistic goals for the participants and do not push young kayakers. Create a safe and enjoyable environment.
  • Do not criticise other leaders (instructors, helpers, etc.). You are the role model for the children in your care.

Leaders / Coaches Code of Conduct
Instructors / Leaders should familiarise themselves with the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport and with the Wild Water Kayak Club code of conduct and follow the procedures if they suspect or receive complaints of any sort. Any person under 18 is considered a child for the purpose of these guidelines.[/toggle]

Leaders should be:

  • Positive during session, praise and encourage effort as well as results
  • Plan and prepare appropriately
  • Put the welfare of young person first, strike a balance between this and winning/results
  • Encourage fair play, treat participants equally
  • Recognise developmental needs
  • Qualified and up-to-date with knowledge and skill of sport for young people
  • Involve parents where possible and inform parents when problems arise
  • Keep a record of attendance at training
  • Keep a brief record of injury(s) and action taken
  • Keep a brief record of problem/action/outcomes, if behavioural problems arise

Where possible leaders should avoid:

  • Spending excessive amounts of time with children away from others
  • Taking sessions alone
  • Taking young persons to your home
  • Taking young persons on journeys alone in their car

Sports leaders should not:

  • Use any form of punishment or physical force on a young person
  • Exert undue influence over a participant in order to obtain personal benefit or reward
  • Engage in rough physical games, sexually provocative games or allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any kind, and / or make sexually suggestive comments about, or to a young person