Junior and Adult Member Interaction Policy

Aim of this Policy

Gloucester Rowing Club (GRC) is fully committed to providing a safe environment to enable their junior members to enjoy their sport. When a junior member reaches the age of 18 they shall be considered to be an adult and may choose to row with either the senior or junior squad until the 31 August of that rowing year.

Whilst most of the junior training, both on and off the water, takes part within specified junior sessions, the club believes that interaction with the senior squads can help some juniors to develop as rowers, get the most out of their sport and provide good competition opportunities.

For a safe environment to be established, it is important that the club sets out standards of good practice and appropriate levels of behaviour. These should be followed by junior and adult members and read in conjunction with the club’s Codes of Conduct for specific member groups.

General principles

All junior and adult members should adopt the following basic principles:

  • All adults supervising junior members shall do so in a manner that develops a respectful and appropriate rowing relationship and shall not engage in a close or intimate relationship with a junior member (except where the adult is a parent/carer of the junior).
  • Junior and adult members shall avoid situations where they are alone on a one to one basis, or out of sight of other club members.
  • Junior and adult members shall avoid inappropriate communication, either in person or privately via social media or text messaging. Any email communication to a junior member shall be sent direct to, or copied to the parent/carer. Members shall refer to the club’s ‘Email Communication and Use of Social Media Policy’
  • Juniors below the age of 18 attending the club shall be supervised by an adult at all times and are not permitted to visit the club outside of their session times, unless taking part in an agreed activity.
  • All concerns about welfare, whether raised in relation to a junior member, or raised by a junior member shall be reported to the CWO.
  • All concerns about conduct, whether raised in relation to a junior member, or raised by a junior member shall be reported to their Lead Coach, or Junior Coordinator.

Good practice for adults in a position of trust

The club has adopted the British Rowing (BR) Safeguarding and Protecting Children Policy (2013) and any associated BR Welfare Guidance. The Club Welfare Officer (CWO) shall ensure that every adult in a ‘position of trust’ or responsibility involved in the training of junior members confirms that they have read this Policy. In addition, all members of the club Committee shall be required to attend a British Rowing Safeguarding Children Workshop, or equivalent.

The Junior Coordinator shall be informed of any junior wishing to train with the adult squads, so that they can make sure that any relevant information can be passed on to the squad captains and session coaches as appropriate. Members shall refer to the club’s ‘Confidentiality and Data Protection Policy’. This shall typically include emergency contact details, the parents/carers consent for their child to train with adults and any medical information that needs to be taken into account.

Good practice for interaction at the clubhouse

All junior members shall be allowed privacy in the changing rooms and adults (including coaches) shall avoid being alone one to one with juniors. If a junior is uncomfortable showering or changing in an open changing area, no pressure shall be put on them to do so, and they shall be permitted to change and shower at home.

If an adult offers, or is asked to assist a junior in a task that they cannot perform themselves, then in the absence of a parent/carer, this shall be done in the presence of another adult member.

As a mixed gender club, male and female changing facilities shall be segregated and all members of the opposite sex shall be excluded whilst members are changing or showering.

No photographic equipment shall be used in the changing room environment, including cameras, video cameras, camera phones etc. Members shall refer to the club’s ‘Email Communication and Use of Social Media Policy’.

The club expects adult members to be good role models by maintaining appropriate standards of behaviour. Adult members shall refer to the club’s ‘Adult Code of Conduct’. Adults shall set a good example and refrain from using inappropriate, sexually suggestive or bad language that causes distress or embarrassment and to openly challenge this kind of behaviour in juniors. Adults shall not offer, or purchase alcohol on behalf of a junior member.

Good practice for interaction on the water

When training on the water, all junior members shall remain under the supervision of a suitably qualified adult nominated for that session. Junior members shall refer to the club’s ‘Junior Code of Conduct’. Where a junior forms part of a senior crew (either as a cox or as a rower) at least one member of that crew should have an Enhanced DBS clearance without barring and be nominated as the adult responsible for that junior from when they arrive at the club premises, for the duration of the session and until the junior leaves the club.

Good practice for interaction at competitions

The club Captain, or other designated member, shall only enter older junior members as part of senior crews at competitions that are suitable for their level of experience, commitment and ability.
The club shall not specifically arrange transport for junior members to and from competition venues. It is expected that parents/carers shall do this in support of their child’s entry into the competition.

If for practical reasons the junior needs to travel to the venue with members of the crew, then the adult member responsible for coordinating the crew shall seek written consent from the parent/carer and obtain emergency contact details, together with any relevant medical or dietary information from the Junior Coordinator.

Parents/carers shall be notified of the member of the crew acting as loco parentis for the trip, the mode of transport, pick up and return points and times, and the details of the competition venue. Adults shall ensure that any private transport proposed is fit for purpose and includes seat belts.