Kirkwood Ski Team prides itself on meeting the national and international standard for snow sports training and competition. These guidelines are in place to assist our coaching staff in the methodology of “good practice” and construction of a safe environment for our athletes.
These guidelines are not intended to serve as legal advice or to supplant legal definitions of abuse and harassment that vary depending on jurisdiction. Instead, these guidelines are designed to raise awareness and identify areas of concern.
DEFINITION OF A CHILD
For the purpose or these guidelines, a child/athlete is defined as anyone under the age of 18 years.
Positions of Trust Good Practice
- The welfare of the child is the primary concern.
- Be aware that the closeness of the coach/athlete relationship may encourage feelings that are not directly related to the sport.
- Set out and maintain appropriate boundaries.
- Promote fairness.
- Prevent and correct bullying.
- Treat all children equally, with dignity and respect.
- Give enthusiastic and constructive advise rather than criticism.
- NEVER enter into a sexual relationship with a child under your care/supervision.
- NEVER use your influence over a child for you own interests.
Physical Contact Good Practice
Physical contact is recommended only in support of the following purposes:
- To develop or demonstrate sports skills
- To diagnose or treat an injury
- To give appropriate sport massage – these actions should only be carried out by appropriately qualified staff. Physical contact may be appropriate in other circumstances, as in congratulating a child or consoling a child who is upset. However, always ensure that physical contact is carried out in the open, or in the presence of another supervising adult. Remember that interpretations of touching will be affected by factors such as cultural differences, religious implications, relative age, or sexual orientation.
If a child is uncomfortable with physical contact, STOP!
General Supervision Good Practice
- A supervising adult should never be alone with a child in potentially compromising situations, i.e. in a hotel room, bathroom, changing room, locker rooms, etc.
- Whenever possible, mixed gender teams should be accompanied by male and female responsible adults.
- DO NOT take a child alone on a trip unless in an emergency and/or with written parental permission.
- DO NOT enter the room of a child without another responsible adult present.
- NEVER share a room with a child.
Always discourage sexually provocative jokes and conversation.
Confidentiality Good Practice
- When you are close to a child, you may gather very personal information about the child.
- Try to make the child aware of the importance and implications of the information he is sharing.
- You should NEVER encourage confidences or intrude into the private life of the child.
Always maintain appropriate boundaries
Integrity Good Practice
- Discourage children from talking offensively about others but be aware that the child may be trying to describe an instance of abuse.
- Coaches should never talk offensively or negatively about others.
- Encourage children to obey the rules of the sport, compete in good faith and treat officials and other competitors with respect.
- NEVER advocate measures to gain an unfair advantage or cheat in any way.
- NEVER allow children in your care to take advantage of a mistake or oversight by an official or volunteer at any time.
Always emphasize fair play!
Personal Standards Good Practice
- Always exhibit high personal standards.
- Respect KSEF’s Core Values of Character, Courage and Commitment.
- RespectKSEF’s Coaches, Parent and Athlete Code/Standard of Conduct.
- Always project a favorable image of the sport, KSEF, the Olympic movement, USSA, USASA and FIS.
- Always project an image of health, cleanliness and efficiency.
- DO NOT use any types of tobacco, or drink alcohol to excess, when in the company of children.
- Never use profane, insulting or otherwise offensive language.
- NEVER use any form of sexually charged verbal intimacy or innuendoes.
- ALWAYS err on the side of protecting the child. Take action.
- If you have doubt of what is appropriate or necessary in a particular circumstance, you should consult your direct supervisor, medical professionals, or contact KSEF’s Administration for guidance.
- Always involve the child’s parents in any action involving their child.
- Physical injury of all types when such injury is intentional or results from neglect.
- Giving a child alcohol or inappropriate medications or drugs.
- In a sports situation, this may also occur when the nature and intensity of training disregard the capacity if the child’s immature and growing body.
- May involve telling a child that he/she is useless or devaluing them.
- Constant criticism and negative feedback.
- Shouting, threats or taunts.
- Unrealistic expectation of performance at levels above a child’s capability.
- Failure to provide adequate food or shelter.
- Prolonged or unnecessary exposure to cold or heat.
- Unnecessary risk of injury.
- In sport, activities which might involve physical contact with children may create situations where sexual abuse may go unnoticed.
- The power of the coach over the athlete could, if misused, lead to abusive situations developing.
- May be physical, verbal or emotional.
- Is usually repeated over a period of time.
- May involve staff, other athletes, or parents.
Signs of abuse may include a drop in performance, behavioral changes, mood swings, reluctance to train/compete, frequent loss of possessions, physical injuries (bruising, scratches, etc), poor sleep and/or loss of appetite/ weight.
- Watch for signs of abuse, and bullying.
- Note changes in behavior, drop in performance, and physical symptoms and signs.
It is NOT your responsibility to decide if abuse is taking place. However, if you suspect abuse, you should take action. Report your concerns to immediate supervisor first, then parents, or if necessary to child protection services and/or law enforcement.
Seek advice from qualified or supervisory individuals to assist your club in addressing objectionable behaviors.
- The effects of abuse may have very long-lasting consequences for the child.
- The welfare of the child is paramount.
- Children must be protected from harm, discrimination and degrading treatment at all times.
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