Sport and Young People


Many leaders become involved in sport for young people for a variety of different reasons, from a variety of sporting backgrounds and take on varying roles within clubs and organizations. Yet irrespective of the role or responsibility, we share a common goal in our commitment to sport for young people. We want sport to be safe, we want sport to be fun and we want to ensure that no matter what sport young people are involved in, that it takes place in the spirit of ‘fair play’.


Fair play is the guiding principle of The Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport which is

Designed to provide guidance for those working with young people in sport. It outlines for sports organizations the type of issues that need to be discussed and addressed to provide the safest and most enjoyable environment for young people. As Sport Leaders we achieve satisfaction from our work with young people. Focusing on the participants’ needs and performance, encourages young people to achieve and demonstrate enjoyment, equality and fair play. They will come to realize that standards of Behaviour are as important as sports performance. In taking this approach participants will be encouraged to:

 Have a go – put in their best effort

 Improve their skills

 Make friends

 Play by the rules

 Appreciate/accept everyone in the group, regardless of ability, race, religion, gender etc.




A Child Centered Approach

                                As leaders we need to keep in mind the reasons why young people want to take part in sport. They want to learn new skills, make new friends, be part of a group, to win and be successful, experience excitement, challenges and action. These too, are the reasons why most leaders are involved – we know sport has a lot to offer young people. As Leaders our aim is to create and maintain a safe and fun environment, where we put our participants at the center of all our activities. To promote this good practice and create and maintain a child centered approach we:


 Act as good role models

 Are encouraging and positive during sessions so that the participants leave with a sense of  achievement

 Plan and prepare appropriately for each session, so that each session suits the needs of the

Group, all activities are age appropriate and inclusive and allow each person to participate

In a fun and enjoyable way.

 Put the welfare and enjoyment of the participant first, striking a balance between this and winning

Or achieving results

 Enforce the principles of fair play, treating each participant equally, with respect and dignity and ensure that all participants abide by the rules

 Recognize the developmental needs of the child, (avoiding excessive training and over competition)

 Involve parents/guardians and club members in what we do

 Show the necessary attributes to work with young people or to take on the roles within the club/organization

 Are qualified or up-to-date with the knowledge and skills related to what we are leading








Good Practice

In keeping young people at the forefront of our planning and practice we can be confident that participants will enjoy their sporting experiences and that our actions are regarded as safe. As Sports Leaders we are responsible for setting and monitoring boundaries – where we strike a balance between a working relationship and friendship with the participants. It is important that we follow an agreed code of good practice and are satisfied that we are suitable to lead the activities we undertake. In addition Sports Leaders should never:

 Exert undue influence over a participant in order to obtain personal benefit or reward

 Share a room with a young person alone on away trips

 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 child

 Use any form of corporal punishment or physical force on a young person

 Take measurements or engage in certain types of fitness testing without the presence of another        adult

 Undertake any form of therapy (hypnosis etc.) in the training of young people



Most leaders will be working in an environment where it is recognized that, in a sporting context,

Certain types of coaching require a ‘hands on approach’, i.e., it may be necessary to support a

Participant in order to physically demonstrate a particular technique. This should only occur when

Necessary and in an open and appropriate way with the knowledge, permission and full understanding

Of the participant concerned and his/her parents/guardians. There are other situations where the

Leader’s role may extend beyond the duties of the club/organization but where possible Sports Leaders

Should avoid:


  Spending excessive amounts of time with a participant away from others

 Taking sessions alone

 Taking young people to their home

 Taking young people on journeys alone in their car


Leaders Role



Experience of working with children

Knowledge of the Code

Awareness of response to abuse

Good communication skills

Leadership Qualification

Knowledge of first aid

In the Club

Involve in organization

Agree a code of good practice

Sign up to a code of good practice

Review the club’s constitution

Review club procedures

Create disciplinary procedures

Maintain a child-centered ethos

With Parents

Communicate with parents

Inform of training programme

Inform of change in location/time

Seek their assistance



Take from the ISC dated1-11-2011

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