Young people have a right to be treated fairly when playing sport or taking part in physical activity.
The right to be treated fairly
You, your friends and team mates, have the right to be treated fairly and have fun playing sport. You should not be hurt or feel frightened.
You can expect your coach and the adults involved in the session/activity to:
- Provide a safe environment
- Treat you with fairness and respect
- Respect your privacy
- Support and encourage you
- Allow you to take part on an equal basis, appropriate to your ability/skill level
- Listen to you and take seriously any concerns you raise
- Never use bad language
- Be organised and on time.
If something is worrying you, tell someone
If something is worrying you, a friend or a team-mate, don't keep it to yourself.
Tell an adult you trust as soon as possible. This could be a parent or someone else you trust in your family, another staff member or volunteer at the sports club, a teacher or school counsellor, your doctor or school nurse.
Your sports club should have a child protection or child welfare officer. Find out who they are and tell them about your worries.
Make sure you are not alone again with the person who has tried to harm you. You could also email Childline or call their free, 24-hour helpline on 0800 1111.
Following the code of practice
As a participant in a session or a member of a club you will be expected to behave appropriately and follow club/team rules.
Your club may have given you a copy of their code of practice which describes the behaviour they expect from you.
Remember the coaches/leaders of the sessions are often volunteers, giving up their free time to help you and other members. If you give them too much grief, they can walk away.
Learning to abide by a code of conduct is an important part of becoming a good team player.
Expectations of you as a young person
If you're involved in organised sport or physical activity you will be expected to behave in a responsible manner:
- Be loyal and give your friends/team members a second chance.
- Be friendly and particularly welcoming to new people.
- Be supportive and committed to other team members, offer comfort when required.
- Keep yourself safe
- Report inappropriate behaviour or risky situations.
- Play fairly and be trustworthy.
- Show appropriate loyalty and be gracious in defeat.
- Respect opponents.
- Not cheat or be violent and aggressive.
- Make your event/club a fun place to be.
- Keep within the defined boundary of the playing/coaching area.
- Behave and listen to all instructions from the coach. Play within the rules and respect the official and their decisions.
- Show respect to other youth members/leaders and show team spirit.
- Take care of equipment owned by the club/coach/organiser.
- Respect all participants regardless of age, gender, ability, race, cultural background or religious beliefs or sexual identity.
- Refrain from the use of bad language or racial/sectarian references. This includes bullying using texting, and social media.
- Not get involved in inappropriate peer pressure and push others into something they do not want to do.
- Refrain from bullying or persistent use of rough and dangerous play.
- Keep to agreed timings for training and competitions or inform their coach or team manager if they are going to be late.
- Wear suitable kit for training and match sessions, as agreed with the coach/team manager.
- Pay any fees for training or events promptly.
- Not smoke on site or whilst representing the team/club/school at competitions.
- Not consume alcohol or drugs of any kind on site or whilst representing the team/club/school.
Young People have the right to:
- Be safe and happy in your chosen activity.
- Be listened to.
- Be respected and treated fairly.
- Enjoy your sport in a protective environment.
- Be referred to professional help if needed.
- Be protected from abuse by other members or outside sources.
- Participate on an equal basis, appropriate to their ability.
- Experience competition and the desire to win.
- Be believed.
- Ask for help.
- Have any concerns taken seriously and acted on.