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 youth players. The welfare of youth players is paramount and all youth players under 18, whatever their age, culture, disability, religious belief or sexual identity, have the right to protection from abuse.
The Club's Responsibility
All adult members, youth rugby coaches and other youth rugby volunteers of Amersham & Chiltern RFC (“the Club”) may have contact with youth members of the Club and can be an important link in identifying cases where a youth player may need protection.
The Club has both a moral and legal obligation to ensure that it provides youth 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 youth players in rugby.
• To take all reasonable practical steps to protect youth players from harm, discrimination, or degrading treatment.
• To respect the rights, wishes and feelings of youth players.
As a result, the Club is committed to a policy of child protection procedures that will ensure viable safeguards to youth players, coaches, volunteers and Club members by establishing proper recruitment, provision of support, and appropriate training. Additionally, all new youth rugby coaches and other youth rugby volunteers at the Club will complete a registration form and submit to vetting by the Criminal Records Bureau.
The Club’s Child Protection Policy and the Club’s Code of Conduct for Youth Rugby Coaches and Other Youth Rugby Volunteers (together with any other codes or policies introduced by the Club from time to time relating to its youth players) will be posted on the Club’s website (www.chilternrugby.com). The codes and policies may be amended from time to time by the Club.
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 Club recognises the value of working closely in partnership with youth coaches, parents, professionals and volunteers to protect its youth 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 youth players, youth rugby coaches, youth 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 youth players within the Club.
• Each youth 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 Youth Rugby Coaches and Other Youth Rugby Volunteers and will implement and enforce its terms. The Club will introduce from time to time other codes or policies relating to its youth players. All codes and policies will be posted on the Club’s website and will be subject to amendment.
• All youth rugby coaches and other youth rugby volunteers at the Club are required to complete a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure form and an RFU Application Form.
• A disciplinary panel, made up of 3 Club members in line with RFU criteria and with powers laid down by the RFU, will be convened as and when required to conduct a disciplinary hearing in connection with child protection matters.
• All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
• All youth rugby coaches and other youth rugby volunteers 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 youth players will be expected to complete an appropriate RFU coaching course. Other youth rugby volunteers will be encouraged to seek appropriate training to assist them in the conduct of their role at the Club.
• All youth rugby coaches and other youth rugby volunteers who have regular contact with youth players are encouraged to complete the RFU Guide to Best Practice and Child Protection distance learning course. A pack for this course is available (at a charge) from the RFU.
• The Club will encourage youth rugby coaches and youth rugby volunteers to stay up-to-date with rugby, coaching, and child protection issues.
• The Club will keep written records of attendance, parental consent, and accidents.
• The Club will provide coaches and parents with a written procedure for dealing with accusations or suspicions of child abuse.
• The Club will promote fair play and playing within the spirit of the Laws of the Game and the letter of the Continuum.