Communications and Social Media Online Safety Policy
Blackrock Athletic Club uses many different social media platforms to communicate with athletes, parents/guardians and the general public.
These platforms should be used to:
- Promote Club Policies and Procedures,
- Publicise club activities, before and after the events.
- Improve communication with members.
- Provide coaching and training information for parents.
- Provide Health and Safety announcements and guidelines.
- Publish fixtures and results.
- Provide education and information to coaches, parents and club members
- Display photographic images, videos and other similar content. This should be in accordance with the Guidelines as outlined in the ‘Film and Photography Policy Guidelines’.
- Engage Athletes, Coaches, Parents and the club community in their support and enjoyment of athletics
- Build an image and raise awareness of the club.
- Reinforce and further the club’s reputation.
- Encourage new membership.
The Club also uses social media platformes, apps, mobile phones and email to communicate directly with adult athletes and parents of juvenile athletes to provide information on scheduling of training, competitions and Health and Safety announcements.
These social media sites, website, email, mobile phones, text messaging and Apps will only ever be used for enabling communication with the membership as a whole.
They should not be used for communicating with individual underage members. Coaches volunteers should never place themselves in a compromising position by texting or communicating via social media sites, apps, texts or email with juvenile athletes individually. All communications should be sent via approved club channels to the parents or guardians of juvenile athletes including ‘Gaisce’ volunteers.
The Club reserves the right to request, the removal and /or deletion of any Club-related material from any social media platforms, group apps or texts if the Club committee deems it inappropriate.
The following Rules apply to coaches and officials when communicating with juvenile athletes:
- Do not engage in communications with underage athletes via personal social network sites.
- Always use official club group text or social media sites to communicate with juvenile athletes.
- All club social media pages/sites must be a group, organisation and community or sports page.
- A personal page/account should not be used by a club to communicate with children.
Further guidance is given in the Athletics Ireland ‘Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children in Athletics’ publication, ‘Athletics Ireland WhatsApp Guidelines’ and ‘Athletics Ireland Policy Regarding Communicating with Children’
Athletics Ireland Guidance on Setting up ‘WhatsApp’ Groups 2020
- Set up Groups which require participant consent.
- Never use WhatsApp to communicate with your Juveniles.
- Children (u18) should never be part of a WhatsApp group. The safeguarding concern is that users can see personal phone numbers of users and their pictures.
- Inform participants of its intended use and how it should be used.
- Inform participants that they may report inappropriate content to the administrators of the group, the Child Welfare Officer or a member of Blackrock Athletic Club Committee.
‘WhatsApp groups’ for Blackrock Athletic Club Juvenile Sections of the Club.
Blackrock Athletic Club have decided to adopt a policy that posting in WhatsApp to the Juvenile Groups in the Club should be by way of ‘Administrator only’.
Exceptions to this rule are:
- During COVID-19 like restrictions when virtual training in progress open broadcast can be used.
- Groups could be temporarily opened to posting if specific events dictated.
Blackrock Officials, coaches and assisting parent volunteers over the age of 18 yrs only, may be administrators in a ‘WhatsApp’ group.
Be careful what you post to a ‘WhatsApp’ group. It is difficult to remove messages/photographs once posted.
Ensure you do not post photographs/film of children whose parents have indicated that they do not wish photographs/film to be taken of their children. Head coaches of groups will be informed at the beginning of the year by the Child Welfare Officer if there are any children in their group who should not be photographed or filmed.