Blackrock Athletic Club is fully committed to ensuring that young athletes in the Club are safeguarded in their participation in athletics. Early experiences of young athletes in our sport need to be positive and enjoyable.  We follow best practice in Child Welfare and fully adhere to Athletics Ireland’s (‘AAI’) recommended processes in this area. The AAI material is available at the AAI website’s Child Welfare page which can be found here.

To maintain an open and transparent approach we have adopted the AAI’s Safeguarding Statement, Related Policies, Codes of Conduct and Guidelines as our own, in some places customised for our club. We have performed a Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment and adopted appropriate policies to address the child safety risks identified.

The Club Safeguarding Statement for Children and Code of ethics can be found on the website and the Club Noticeboard.

The Club has policies around Child Welfare, Coaching, Bullying and Codes of Conduct for all our members. We expect all members, parents, coaches, and volunteers to read the policies to understand and comply with the Club Rules. All participating children must sign up to the code of conduct. All members confirm that they know and understand these policies annually when they renew their membership. We rely on parents to ensure that all young athletes are made aware of the club rules. See policy documents below, click to launch the document.

The child protection officers are:

Barry Thornton (DLP),  Janice Kelly

Child Safeguarding and Code of Ethics

The objective of Blackrock Athletic Club is to promote athletics in Blackrock, Co Dublin and the surrounding area. It operates in a safe, caring, friendly and fun-loving environment and endeavours to provide the necessary coaching expertise required to enable young athletes of all abilities to reach their full potential. It lays special emphasis on fair play, community and sportsmanship and works actively to encourage, the development of such attributes as, teamwork and leadership.

Club Principles
The Club and those involved with the Club will abide by the following principles and statements:

  • All young people within Blackrock AC, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, ability, or disability have the right to be protected.
  • All young people participating in sport have a right to do so in a safe environment.
  • All adults involved with the Club will provide a safe, positive, and fun, sporting experience for young people.
  • All volunteers, coaches and officials will understand and be supported in their role and responsibility regarding the duty of care of young people.
  • All suspicious incidents and all allegations will be taken seriously, managed, and dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
  • The Club will assist coaches, volunteers, and officials to remain up to date with the latest safeguarding and child protection issues.
  • The Club will appoint a Children’s Officer/s to deal with issues concerning child welfare at the club.

Club Commitment to Child Welfare

To maintain an open and transparent approach we have adopted the Athletics Ireland (AAI’s) Child Protection Policy Statement and Safeguarding Statement, related Policies, Codes of Conduct and Guidelines as our own, in some places customised for our club.

We have performed a Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment and adopted appropriate policies and guidelines to address the child safety risks identified. Details of this review can be seen on the Child Safeguarding Statement.

We expect all members, parents, officials, coaches, and volunteers to read the policies to understand and comply with the Club Rules.

The Blackrock Athletic Club’s Codes of Conduct and Policies and Procedures can be seen in the ‘Child Welfare’ / ‘Ethics’ section of the website. **Come back to and insert link***

Athletics Ireland Child Protection Policy Statement

Athletics Ireland acknowledges its duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and is committed to ensuring safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with legislation, best practice, and Sport Ireland requirements.

The policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, ability or disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, socio-economic background, all children

• have a positive and enjoyable experience of sport at Athletics Ireland in a safe and child-centred environment

• are protected from abuse whilst participating in athletics or outside of the activity.

Athletics Ireland acknowledges that some children, including disabled children and young people or those from ethnic minority communities, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and we accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare.

As part of our safeguarding policy Athletics Ireland will :

• promote and prioritise the safety and wellbeing of children and young people

• ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate learning opportunities to recognise, identify, and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children and young people

• ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support provided to the individual/s who raise or disclose the concern

• ensure that confidential, detailed, and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored

• prevent the employment/deployment of unsuitable individuals

• ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation.

The policy and procedures will be widely promoted and are mandatory for everyone involved in Athletics Ireland. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in dismissal/exclusion from the organisation.


The policy will be reviewed every two years, or in the following circumstances:

• changes in legislation and/or government guidance

• as required by Tusla (the Child and Family Agency) and Sport Ireland.

• as a result of any other significant change or event.             

Blackrock A.C. Child Safeguarding Statement 2022

Blackrock Athletic Club, Blackrock, Co Dublin is affiliated to Athletics Ireland and provides various sporting activities and opportunities for children and young people through participation in clubs, regional/provincial events and through to our national teams. Organised events involved the provision of athletic championships and games that involve in some instances require attendance at weekend events and overnight trips for clubs and their members. Athletics Ireland is a voluntary led organisation that provides its members with opportunities to participate in the sport of Track and Field Athletics across all age grades from Juvenile (u9 to u16), Youth (u18), Junior (u20), Senior (u35) and Master (35+).

  • Blackrock Athletic Club  
  • Sport: Track and Field Athletics, Cross Country, Road Running and Race Walking.
  • Location : Blackrock, Co. Dublin
  • Number of members in Club as at 22/04/2022 is 406  Juvenile and 213 Adult members   
  • Activities: Track and Field, Cross Country, Road Running and Race Walking

Section 2 – Principles to safeguard children from harm

Athletics Ireland is committed to safeguarding children and by working under the guidance of our Safeguarding Policies our volunteers working with our young people, throughout the organisation, seek to create a safe environment for young people to grow and develop within sport. The following set of principles should be adhered to:

  • Importance of childhood – The importance of childhood should be understood and valued by everyone involved in sport.
  • Needs of the child – All children’s sport experiences should be guided by what is best for children. This means that adults should have a basic understanding of the emotional, physical and personal needs of young people.
  • Integrity in relationships – Adults interacting with children in sport are in a position of trust and influence. They should always ensure that children are treated with integrity and respect, and the self-esteem of young people is enhanced.
  • Fair Play – All children’s sport should be conducted in an atmosphere of fair play. The principles of fair play should always be emphasised, and organisers should give clear guidelines regarding acceptable standards of behaviour.
  • Quality atmosphere & ethos – Children’s sport should be conducted in a safe, positive and encouraging atmosphere.
  • Competition – Competition is an essential element of sport and should be encouraged in an age appropriate manner. A child centred ethos will help to ensure that competition and specialisation are kept in their appropriate place.
  • Equality – All children should be valued and treated in an equitable and fair manner regardless of ability, age, gender, religion, social and ethnic background or political persuasion.

Section 3 – Risk Assessment

This Blackrock Athletic Club Child Welfare Risk Assessment document indicates the areas of potential risk of harm, the likelihood of the risk occurring, and gives the required policy, guidance or process documents required to alleviate these risks.  The list of risks identified and procedures to manage these risks are contained in the following categories:

Club and Coaching Practices

Complaints and Discipline

Reporting Procedures



General risk of harm

Section 4 – Procedures

Our Child Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with requirements under the Children First Act 2015, (the Children First: National Guidance, and Tusla’s Child Safeguarding: A Guide for Policy, Procedure and Practice). In addition to our Risk Assessment document described above, there are further procedures that support our intention to safeguard children while they are availing of our activities.

Athletics Ireland has the following procedures in place as part of our Safeguarding Policies:

  • Procedures for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct by staff or volunteers against a child availing of our activities.
  • Procedures for the safe recruitment of staff and volunteers to work with children in our activities.
  • Procedures for access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurrence of harm.
  • Procedure for reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Statutory Authorities.
  • Procedure for maintaining a list of the persons (if any) in the relevant service who are mandated persons.
  • Procedure for appointing a relevant person (Club Children’s Officer).

Please note that all procedures listed are available on request.

Kieron Stout is the relevant person for Athletics Ireland, and he is also a mandated person as set out in the Children First Act 2015. Kieron can be contacted on 086 2450134.

Following the carrying out of a club specific Child Welfare Risk Assessment, Blackrock Athletic Club has adopted the principals, code of ethics, policies and procedures of Athletics Ireland and acknowledges Athletics Ireland leadership and guidance for policy, procedures, and practice within the club.

In accordance with the Athletics Ireland Child Welfare Plan Blackrock Athletic Club has the following list of Policies, Procedures and Codes of Conduct.

  • Child Safeguarding Policy and Code of Ethics
  • Child Welfare Risk Assessment
  • Child Safeguarding Statement
  • Code of Conduct – Officials, Coaches and Volunteers
  • Code of Conduct – Children and Young Athletes
  • Juveniles General Club Rules
  • Code of Conduct – Parents and Guardians
  • Volunteer Recruitment Policy
  • Reporting Policy and Procedures
  • Child Welfare Officer – Roles and Responsibility
  • Designated Liaison Person – Roles, Responsibility and Procedures
  • Anti – Bullying Policy
  • Film and Photography Policy and Guidelines
  • Communications and Social Media Online Safety Policy
  • Inclusion and Admission Policy
  • Child Supervision Policy
  • Data Privacy Statement

The purpose of creating and adhering to the Codes of Conduct, Policies and Procedures is to facilitate and encourage best practice in athletics and a safe environment in our club for all members and volunteers.

We expect all Members, Coaches, Volunteers and Parents to read and comply with the club Policies, Procedures and Codes of Conduct.

All members confirm that they know and understand these Policies, Procedures and Codes of Conduct annually when they renew their membership.  We rely on parents to ensure that all children and young athletes are made aware of the club rules and policies.

Section 5 – Implementation

We recognise that implementation is an ongoing process. Our club is committed to the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement and the procedures that support our intention to keep children safe from harm while availing of our activities.

Please note the following:

  • That all volunteers have been furnished with a copy of this statement.
  • This statement is available to parents/guardians, the Agency & members of the public on request.
  • This statement and Club Child Welfare Policies will be displayed on the Notice Board in the Clubhouse and on the Club website

The Athletics Ireland Child Safeguarding Plan including all policies and procedures is available on request or at the following webpage for download.

You can also email if you would like any information sent to you.

This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed 21 April 2024

Signed: Janice Kelly                                                             Date:  22 April 2022

(By the Club Child Welfare Officer (Relevant Person) On behalf the Club)


Name: Janice Kelly                                    Phone no:  087 2336363

For queries on this Child Safeguarding Statement, please contact the CWO

Code of Conduct for Children and Young Athletes

Sport should be safe, fun, and conducted in a spirit of fair play.
As a young person, you are entitled to the best possible environment to participate in sport.
You deserve to be given enjoyable, safe sporting opportunities, free from abuse of any kind.
You have rights, which must be respected, and responsibilities that you must accept.
You should always treat other athletes, coaches and team leaders with fairness and respect.

You are entitled to:

  • Be safe and to feel safe
  • Be listened to
  • Be believed
  • Be treated with dignity, sensitivity, and respect
  • Have your voice heard in your sport
  • Participate on an equal and non-discriminatory basis
  • Have fun and enjoy your sport
  • Experience competition at a level at which you are happy
  • Make complaints and have them dealt with.
  • Get help against those who bully.
  • Say No.
  • Protect your body.
  • Privacy and confidentiality.

Athletes should always:

  • Play fairly, do your best and have fun.
  • Respect your coaches, officials and volunteers and accept decisions made.
  • Respect team members and fellow athletes, at all times, even when things go wrong.
  • Respect opponents and be modest in victory and gracious in defeat.
  • Arrive at training on time and ready to participate.
  • Take responsibility for your own belongings and take them home after training.
  • Listen to and obey the coaches’ instructions during training sessions.
  • Wear the club singlet during competitions.
  • Wear bright clothing and a reflective strip at the winter evening sessions.
  • Abide by the rules set down by coaches when travelling to and during competitions.
  • Use a buddy system when going to the bathroom or using changing facilities.
  • Talk to the children’s officers or any of the coaches if you have any concerns.
  • Support and assist where appropriate with the running of your group.

You should never:

  • Leave the training group for any reason without telling your coach.
  • Cheat or seek to gain an unfair advantage.
  • Intimidate, use violence or physical contact that is not welcome.
  • Shout at or argue with another person unreasonably.
  • Cause harm to team members, opponents, or damage property.
  • Bully or threaten another person online or offline.
  • Spread or circulate rumours online or offline about another person.
  • Tell lies.
  • Keep secrets about anyone who has caused you harm.
  • Take banned substances, consume alcohol or recreational drugs.
  • Use email, text, or social media to communicate directly with a coach.
  • Train if injured.
  • Behave in a manner that will bring the club or sport into disrepute.

Code sign up:

The undertaking to abide by and support the club’s Child Protection Policy given by the parent/legal guardian of junior members is deemed to be agreement on the part of the junior member to abide by this Code of Conduct.

Therefore, this Code of Conduct is deemed accepted upon registration with Blackrock Athletic Club and upon renewal of registration every year.

Parents must ensure that their children understand the Code of Conduct for Young Athletes.

Juveniles General club Rules

  1. Membership

The Blackock A.C. Juvenile Club is made up of the ‘Academy training group’ for juveniles aged 6 & 7 and the Club Juvenile Section for juveniles aged 8 to 18. The membership year runs from 1 January to 31 December. The annual membership fee is inclusive of the Athletics Ireland registration fees. The Club has a waiting list for juvenile members. To join the waitlist complete the link on the under the membership tab

2. Attire

Athletes should attend training in clothes suitable for running.  As per Athletics Ireland rules any athletes competing for the club in official competitions must wear a club singlet. These can be purchased from the clubhouse. Please ensure these, and any other clothing items are labelled with the athlete’s name. For safety reasons high viz vests are required at winter training. Spikes are beneficial in Carysfort Park in the Winter season. The club operates a swop spikes system in the clubhouse.

3. Training Times

Please see the website for your childs training times and venue. Blackrock Athletic Club trains in two venues. Carysfort Park and St Andrews College

At the end of March all St Andrews Thursday training reverts to Carysfort Park.

4. Supervision and Collection

All coaches give their time voluntarily so it is important that training times do not over run. To avoid disruption to the training, which is usually 1 hour long, we ask all athletes to go to the toilet and not to eat immediately before training. All athletes should attend and be ready for training 10 minutes in advance of training times. Parents must collect their children on time. All collections are from the clubhouse or in the grounds of St Andrews and not from a waiting car on the roadside.

Athletes up to 10 years of age must have a responsible adult in attendance at all times at all training sessions and events.

5. Refreshments

All athletes should bring their own water to training-no fizzy/high energy drinks are allowed. Please ensure water bottles are clearly labelled.

6. Code of Conduct

Club Codes of Conduct exist to ensure all children are safe, enjoy the training sessions, and respect is shown to all athletes and coaches. If a child is not behaving and is disruptive at the training sessions we have the following processes in place:

First incident: Verbal warning.

Second incident: Recording by the Club Children’s Officer who gives a second warning.

Further incidents: Follow up with the child’s parents by the Childrens’ Officer and the child’s membership may be suspended or revoked.

7. Photos

Photos of athletes taken by club officials and coaches during events may be used in accordance with the club’s ‘Photography and use of Images Policy’. For details of this policy please see the website. We request that parents refrain from taking photos and videos of other people’s children and uploading them on to social media.

Please note these “Juvenile General Club Rules” should be read in conjunction with the Club Codes of Conduct for Parents, Coaches, and Juveniles. See the noticeboard or website for details.

We hope all athletes have a long and happy association with the Club, making many new friends while developing a lifelong love of athletics.

Code of Conduct for Officials, Coaches and Volunteers

Blackrock Athletic Club is guided by and fully committed to Athletics Ireland – ‘Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children in Athletics’.  The document acts as a guide for all other rules and regulations in our club. It outlines best practice with regard to working with children to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all.

 All coaches, officials and volunteers of the club must receive a copy of the Athletics Ireland Child Welfare Document – ‘Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children in Athletics’ and they register their intent to adhere to Athletics Ireland Policies regarding the protection and welfare of children in Athletics upon taking up a role in Blackrock Athletic Club.

All coaches, officials and volunteers at the Club should lead by example and:

  1. Ensure their Garda Vetting is completed before commencing coaching.
  2. Be up-to-date with knowledge and skill of sport and athletics for young people and be willing to undertake training courses and workshops relevant to coaching.
  3. The Club aspires to have all coaches trained to AAI Coach level 1 (or equivalent), all assistant coaches trained to AAI Assistant Coach level or equivalent and all volunteers trained to Athletic Leader level or equivalent.
  4. All active coaches, assistant coaches and parent volunteers must have up to date Garda vetting and a certificate of completion for Child Safeguarding Level 1.
  5. Club Children’s Officer must be Garda vetted and have a certification for Child Safeguarding Level 1 and 2
  6. Designated Liaison Person must be Garda vetted and attend Child Safeguarding Level 1, 2 and 3
  7. Confirm that they agree with the Club Coach Education and Training Policy.
  8. Consider the wellbeing and safety of participants before the development of performance.
  9. Display consistently high standards of behaviour.
  10. Follow the guidelines laid down by Athletics Ireland as adopted by the Club.
  11. Develop an appropriate working relationship with athletes based on mutual trust and respect.
  12. Be familiar with Club policies and procedures.
  13. Obtain a listing of registered athletes for their age category and ensure that only registered athletes attend the training sessions. Any queries to be emailed to
  14. Be aware of any medical requirements of the athletes in their care as indicated by parents.
  15. Use a group system for communicating with parents/guardians and coaches of athletes and do not communicate individually by social media, text or email with juvenile athletes.
  16. Do a roll call at training sessions, keep a headcount and confirm training attendance on the club management system.
  17. Be punctual and prepared for training sessions and communicate to parents and other coaches about training sessions on a timely basis.
  18. Ensure that the training plan is appropriate for the athlete’s age group and ability.
  19. Put the welfare of young athletes first, ensuring they leave with a sense of achievement and increased self-esteem.
  20. Be positive during training sessions and competitions and praise and encourage effort as well as results.
  21. Be familiar with the first aid kits, incident forms and be prepared to administer basic first aid or to call on a coach able to do so. Report incidents that arise to a Club Child Welfare Officer.
  22. Encourage fair play and treat participants equally.
  23. Involve parents where necessary and inform parents when problems arise. Encourage parents to get involved in club activities.
  24. When coaching training groups alone or indoors, be accompanied by a parent representative or volunteer.
  25. Keep a brief record of problem / action / outcomes, if behavioural problems arise and report to the Children’s Officer.
  26. Encourage athletes to accept responsibility for their own performance.
  27. Challenge bullying in any form.
  28. Respect other coaches, parents and other club officials.

Coaches, officials and volunteers should not:

  • Spend time with children away from others or find themselves alone with one child.
  • Let the second last child leave at collection if it means being left then with one child.
  • Be isolated with individual children on training runs.
  • Communicate with underage athletes individually via text or email or by social media or communicate directly with Gaisce volunteers. All communications must be via their parent numbers.
  • Have any unnecessary or inappropriate physical contact with athletes.
  • Use any form of physical punishment or force on a child.
  • Exert undue influence over participants to gain personal benefit or reward.
  • Undermine the efforts of an athlete’s personal coach and/or attempt to ‘poach’ an athlete within a squad environment.
  • Condone rule violations, rough play or the use of prohibited substances.
  • Use bad language, shout offensively or ridicule athletes.
  • Smoke while coaching.
  • Consume alcohol or non-prescription drugs immediately prior to or while dealing with underage athletes.
  • Administer any medication or medical aid unless trained to do so.
  • Engage in communications with underage athletes individually via personal social network sites.
  • Transport a juvenile athlete alone.
  • Take a juvenile athlete to the coaches own home.
  • Bring a child alone to a bathroom or attend in a changing room alone with an underage athlete.
  • Engage in rough physical games, provocative games or allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any kind with an underage athlete.
  • Abuse their position of authority by engaging in any form of sexual relations with children, or vulnerable adults.
  • Undertake or use any form of therapy (hypnosis, etc.) in the training of children.

Code of Conduct for Parents and Guardians

Parents/guardians play a key role in the support and promotion of an ethical approach to sport and young people’s enjoyment in sport. Parents/guardians therefore need to be aware, informed and involved in promoting the safest possible environment for children to enjoy their participation in sport. Sports leaders need the support of parents/guardians to provide a safe environment and in conveying the fair play message. All participants in sport have a responsibility to keep sport safe, fun, and conducted with a spirit of fair play for all.

Parents/Guardians are responsible for their own children. You as a parent/guardian know your child best. If you believe that your child needs further supervision or support than can be given in a group situation at training sessions or competitions, for whatever reason either medical, psychological or emotional then you must ensure that you or an adult responsible for your child is present at training sessions and competitions at all times.

Children under 10 years of age must at all times have a parent/guardian or an adult responsible for them at training sessions or competitions.

Parents Code of Conduct

Parents and Guardians should always:

  • Be a good role model for your child and maintain the highest standards of conduct when interacting with children, other parents, coaches, officials, and volunteers.
  • Support all efforts to remove abusive behaviour and bullying behaviour in all its forms. Please refer to the Bullying Policy.
  • Encourage their child to learn the Athletics Ireland and Club rules & abide by them.
  • Discourage unfair play & arguing with officials.
  • Set a good example by recognising fair play & applauding good performances of all.
  • Always use correct and proper language.
  • Publicly accept officials’ judgements
  • Help your child to recognise good performance, not just results.
  • Support your child’s involvement and help them to enjoy their sport.
  • Encourage and guide your child to accept responsibility for their own performance and behaviour.
  • Ensure that your child is registered with the club and that their membership renewal is up to date. Membership runs from January to December.
  • Ensure that the club has up to date contact details for parents/guardians.
  • Ensure that the club is informed of any medical or physical issues your child may have including any other difficulty or disorder which will impact coach/athlete communication or understanding. This must be communicated annually to the club and your child’s coach. Coaches change so you must ensure each coach is informed.
  • Comply with all Government and Club health and safety guidelines and measures put in place to protect our athletes and volunteers from accidents, danger, or ill health. For example, Covid 19 Pandemic Public Health Guidelines.
  • Ensure you are familiar with the start and finish time of your child’s training sessions or competition and ensure that they are dropped off and collected on time.
  • Ensure that all athlete belongings have name tags, and all belongings are taken home at the end of each training session.
  • Ensure that young athletes are properly attired in club singlets for competitions.

If possible:

  • Volunteer with the club for coaching, officiating, or running events.
  • Volunteer (minimum once per annum) at competition events when your child competes for the Club. 

Parents and Guardians should not:

  • Force your child to take part in sport if they are injured or unwell.
  • Punish or belittle a child for losing or poor performance.
  • Argue with coaches, volunteers or other officials.
  • Behave in a manner that brings the club into disrepute.
  • Attempt to meet your own needs and aspirations for success and achievement through your child’s participation in games.

Please be aware that the training venues of Blackrock Athletic Club are open to the public and are not enclosed. There is easy exit from the grounds onto the main road of Carysfort Avenue, from Blackrock Park and Booterstown Avenue, from St Andrews College on Winter evenings. Children must be dropped off and collected from within the training grounds.

It is a parents/guardian’s responsibility to assess whether their child is safe in that environment. If parents of children over 10yrs of age, do not think, their child is safe in that environment then they must ensure that they stay with their child during training sessions.

Parents and Guardians are entitled to:

  • Know that their child is safe while training and competing with the club.
  • Make a complaint if they believe that their child’s safety is compromised.
  • Be kept informed of any issues arising in relation to their child.
  • Be informed if their child is injured.

Code sign up:

Upon registration with Blackrock Athletic Club and upon renewal of registration every year parents/guardians undertake to abide by and support the club’s child protection policy and in doing so they undertake to abide by Blackrock Athletic Club  ‘Code of Conduct for Parents and Guardians’

Anti-Bullying Policy

What is Bullying?

Bullying can be defined as repeated aggression be it verbal, psychological, or physical conducted by an individual or group against others. It is behaviour that is intentionally aggravating and intimidating and occurs mainly in social environments such as schools, clubs and other organisations working with children and young people. It includes behaviours such as teasing, taunting, threatening, hitting and extortion behaviour by one or more children against a victim.

How would you know if a child is being bullied?

All bullies operate using furtiveness, threats, and fear. Bullying can therefore only survive in an environment where the victim does not feel empowered to tell someone who can help or in which it is not safe to do so. The following indicators are warning signs that a young person might be getting bullied.

  • Reluctance to come to a venue or take part in activities.
  • Physical signs (unexplained bruises, scratches, or damage to belongings).
  • Stress-caused illness – headaches, and stomach aches which seem unexplained.
  • Fearful behaviour (fear of walking to a meeting, going different routes, asking to be driven).
  • Frequent loss of, or shortage of, money with vague explanations.
  • Having few friends.
  • Changes in behaviour (withdrawn, stammering, moody, irritable, upset, distressed).
  • Not eating.
  • Attempting suicide or hinting at suicide.
  • Anxiety (shown by nail-biting, fearfulness, tics).

There are other possible reasons for many of the above

Who should deal with bullying?

While the more extreme forms of bullying would be regarded as physical or emotional abuse and are reported to the health board or An Garda Síochana, dealing with bullying behaviour is normally the responsibility of all officials and coaches within the club.

How can it be prevented?

  • Ensure that all members follow the code of conduct, which promotes the rights and dignity of each member.
  • Deal with any incidents as they arise.
  • Use a whole group policy or „no-blame approach‟, i.e., not „bullying the bully‟ but working with bullies and the group of young people, helping them to understand the hurt they are causing, and so make the problem a “shared concern‟ of the group, (see below).
  • Reinforce that there is „a permission to tell‟ culture rather than a “might is right‟.
  • Encourage young people to negotiate, co-operate and help others, particularly new or different children.
  • Offer the victim immediate support and put the “no blame approach‟ into operation.
  • Never tell a young person to ignore bullying, they cannot ignore it, it hurts too much.
  • Never encourage a young person to take the law into their own hands and beat the bully at their own game.
  • Tell the victim there is nothing wrong with them and it is not their fault.

What is the ‘No Blame’ Approach?

Step 1 – Interview with the victim

If you find that there has been an incident of bullying, first talk to the victim. At

this stage find out who was involved and what the victim is now feeling. Try asking the following questions:

  • Was it verbal or physical intimidation?
  • How hurt is the victim?
  • Was it within his/her own peer group?
  • Ensure the victim that his/her name will not come out in the investigation.
  • Actively listen.

Step 2 – Meet with all involved

Arrange to meet with all those involved; this should include some bystanders, those who may have colluded, those who joined in and those who initiated the bullying.

  • Have a maximum of six to eight in the group – keep the number


  • Make a point of calling a “special‟ meeting.
  • Ensure the severity of the topic is understood by all.
  • Speak only of the hurt caused in general terms with no reference to the victim.
  • Play on the conscience of all – ask questions like: How would you feel?
  • Would you like it done to you?

Step 3 – Explain the problem

The distress being suffered as a result of the bullying incident is explained. At this stage, the details of the incident or the allocation of the blame are not discussed. Explain the feelings of loneliness, feeling left out, rejected, laughed at. Try asking questions:

  • Would they like it if it happened to them?
  • “Someone here in this group was bullied by someone within the group, what could we do to see it does not happen again?”
  • Listen, watch out for reactions, and pick up on any without isolating anyone.

Step 4 – Share the responsibility

Explain what steps/controls may have to be introduced to prevent further incidents and how everyone will lose out as a result.

Step 5 – Ask the group for their ideas

At this stage, the group is encouraged to suggest ways that would make the victim feel happier. All positive responses are noted. Use phrases “if it were you” to encourage a response. Listen to all suggestions and note them.

Step 6 – Leave it to them

Now the problem has been identified, solutions suggested, the problem is now handed over to the group to solve. Arrange to meet again in a week‟s time.

Pass responsibility over to the group and give a time frame within which something must be done.

Step 7 – Meet them again

Each member of the group, including the bully, discuss how things are going, who is doing what and have there been other incidents? This allows for continual monitoring and also keeps all involved in the process.

Again, enforce the idea of the “team‟ looking after each.

Film and Photography Guidelines

This Filming and Photography policy is not about preventing parents/guardians and supporters from taking pictures, but rather to ensure that only those who have a right to take photographs do so. Taking photographic and filming/video footage at Events (see definition below) of children or young people is a normal activity for a sporting organisation. This policy proposes safeguards so as to minimise the inappropriate use of images.

Throughout this policy the use of the word ‘image’ refers to all photographic and film/video footage.

The term ‘event’ may include competition, training session, social function or any activity organised at any level of the sporting body.


Parents/guardians should be advised that Blackrock Athletic Club or event that their child is attending may record and/or take photographs for the promotion of the sport within the club, county, province or national event.

When parents/guardians register their children as a member of Blackrock Athletic Club they are granting their consent for the possible taking and publication of photographs and video footage of their children in the promotion of the club and the sport and the use of such imagery in line with the club Guidelines outlined below.

If a parent/guardian does not wish their child’s image to be taken they should inform the Children’s Officer at the club or event they are attending.

Blackrock Athletic Club Guidelines for photographic recorded images

Filming and Photography is permitted under the following safeguarding guidelines.

  1. Types of appropriate images

Only use appropriate images of children:

Posed images e.g. medal ceremonies, presentations and team shots should be of children wearing tracksuits or t-shirt and shorts

Action shots of children may be used where the focus is on the participation in the sport and not the child

Images of children should not be taken where the pose is inappropriate e.g. open legs; from behind bending over, etc.

Flash photography is prohibited for any activities where it affects the performance or may have the potential to cause harm to the participant.

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.

  1. Use of images

Images may be taken for a variety of purposes; these can include administration or personal use, publicising the sport or enhancing skill development within the sport. Persons taking images are reminded that some action poses may be inappropriate and not suitable for use/publication.

a) Personal images – these are images taken by parents/guardians or other family members during an event as a celebration of a young person’s attendance or achievement. This could include a professional photographer with permission to take images for the personal use of those attending. Other people may be included in an image and we expect parents/guardians and other family members to respect this by not distributing images publicly.

b) Training images – these are images or footage taken during a training session or during an event specifically to aid the development of a skill or technique for the young person. We expect these images to be taken by a qualified coach or a person specifically appointed by the young person’s coach. These images may be used as examples of technique or mastery of a skill for teaching/coaching purposes. These types of images should not be distributed outside teaching/coaching purposes.

c) Media images – these are images taken by an individual from the media, i.e. TV, newspaper, or professional photographer where the images are to be used for publicity or promotion of the event or future events.

d) Administration images – these are images taken for general administration purposes; including images used for membership cards, competition entries and may also include images that form part of an archive.

Use of images on social media

Where images of young people are used on social media the person responsible for posting an image must be aware of the potential for an image to be used inappropriately and safeguards must be in place to protect young people:

i) Personal details of a young person should not be given

ii) Any caption should be in keeping with the sport represented

iii) The purpose of the posting should not breach the codes of conduct

iv) The type of image should not breach any requirement stated within this policy

Announcement at events regarding taking and the use of images

The following announcement should be read out at the start and during an event to ensure everyone is clearly aware of the policy:

“All persons wishing to take photographs or film footage at this event must first register their device(s) with.… Please note photographic identification will be required as proof of identity. (Company) has been authorised to take photographs of individuals in accordance with our policy.”

It should be noted that we have little or no influence on what photographs may be taken and published in local or national newspapers. Should we ever be unhappy with the publication of such photographs or images we can address this matter with the individual newspaper or the Press Council of Ireland and the Office of the Press Ombudsman.

See  ‘Athletics Ireland Filming and Photography Policy and Guidelines’ for further regulations and guidance.

3. Storage of Images

Storage includes any image stored as a hard copy or electronically including social media, photographic archives or individual personal databases e.g. personal cameras, phones, etc.

Storage of personal images is a matter for the parent/guardian and the child/young person.

All other images should only be stored for defined and intended purposes e.g. membership, promotion, and/or archiving.

If storage of images is required, the images must only be stored for the length of time for which they are needed

If possible, avoid using the names of children, or any other identifying feature

Once images are no longer required ensure that they are properly destroyed. Digital images stored on computer systems need to be fully deleted, including deletion from the cache memory/temporary files.

4. Reporting of Inappropriate Images

Taking inappropriate images

If there is any concern about the nature of images being taken this should be reported to the responsible/mandated person (AAI Child Welfare Manager/National Children’s Officer) who will refer to the statutory authorities. The concerned individual may also report directly to the statutory authorities. Statutory authority details can be found in the AAI Code of Ethics & Good Practice for Children.

Non-authorised taking of images

If you are concerned about individual taking images at an event you should verbally report your concerns to the relevant responsible person on the day. A responsible person may be the children’s officer, head coach, event manager, event controller or facility manager. This may include, if necessary, reporting the non-authorised taking of images to the appropriate statutory authorities.

The responsible person will identify the person and check if their device is registered for the event. If not registered, the person must be asked to register their device, with appropriate identification.

If the person is not willing to register their device they should be asked to leave.

Where the event is open to the public e.g. where only part of the facility is being used, it will be necessary to report non-authorised taking of images to the facility manager.

If there is any concern about the nature of images being taken this should be reported to the responsible/mandated person (AAI Child Welfare Manager) who will refer to the statutory authorities.

Inappropriate use of images

Where there is a concern about the use of images this should be reported to the responsible person who will take appropriate action. This will include reporting the alleged use to:

The parent/guardian of any young person involved

The person responsible for posting the image

The media platform i.e. twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, print media etc.

The statutory authorities

Inappropriate use of images may result in a complaint/disciplinary procedure against those involved within the NGB – see policy.

Where there is a concern about the publication of an image in local or national newspapers you should contact the individual newspaper or the Press Council of Ireland and the Office of the Press Ombudsman – website telephone: lo-call 1890 208 080, email:

Inclusion and Admission Policy

It is our aim to continuously reflect on our experiences to ensure that we foster an inclusive environment for all children engaging in our activities. Through our contact we can create a child centred environment where children with additional needs are included, protected and provided equal opportunities to achieve their full potential with respect and without discrimination.

We believe that our Athletics Programmes can be a positive channel through which children can have fun, feel included and through participation have engaging and worthwhile experiences.  Echoing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child we should provide an environment “conducive to the child’s achieving the fullest possible social integration and individual development”.

Through partnerships with parents we encourage participation for children with disabilities removing, where possible, the barriers to inclusion.  We can through such partnerships determine if additional available resources could be sought to meet the changing needs of all our members. We will create an awareness of inclusion amongst our coaches and clubs to support them in its provision.   

We recognise that the needs of each child are different and we work to ensure that in all that we do we have the interests of each at its heart. Inclusion provides every child the opportunity to take part and we provide an environment where no one is turned away isolated or excluded. Responding to individual children’s needs ensure that we provide opportunities while setting individual goals


Children aged 7 and older join the club from the club waitlist.  The waitlist is open to all and some age groups (especially the teenage ages) may not have any delay from the time of joining the waitlist to being offered a place in the club. Children may be added to the waitlist at any time but the Club does not accept waitlist entries from very young children, so children who are not turning 6 in the year that they are put on the waitlist will not be held on the waitlist.  Places are offered to the waitlist as they arise.  Children are offered places when a space becomes available in their age group in the following order:   

1.     Siblings of existing active children with over 12 months membership 

2.     Children of existing active adult club members with over 12 months membership

3.     Children of volunteer coaches and committee members.

4.     Date on the waitlist


Note: while the majority of children joining the club follow this policy, the Club reserves the right to make exceptions to facilitate coaching and team needs.

Child Supervision Policy and Travel and Away Trips Policy

The club has put in place, several measures to ensure there is adequate adult supervision of young adults and children in their care. The club training sessions take place in Carysfort Park, St Andrew’s College and from time-to-time other venues such as Abbottstown Sports Campus.


It is club policy that parents or an adult responsible for their child should be present at training sessions / competitions if their child is under 10 years of age.

Carysfort Park is an open public park not enclosed and can be accessed by any member of the public.

The club is responsible only for club activities.  Parents/Guardians must ensure they are familiar with the start and finish time of your child’s training sessions or competition and ensure that they are dropped off and collected on time.

The policy of the club is to aim to have a 2: 16 coach to athlete ratio for U10 years and 2: 20 for older athletes during training sessions.

Good Practice dictates that there should always be more than one adult present during training sessions.

The Club aspires to have at least one adult of each gender present during training sessions.

Athletes are assigned to their relevant age group training session, and supervised, during training sessions.

Coaches / volunteers should have a list of registered athletes attending training and ensure all athletes remain in their groups.

Coaches should not lose visual contact with athletes in a training session or allow athletes to stray from the training group.

A child who requires a bathroom break should not be allowed go alone. They should be accompanied by a friend or parent.

Children should not be alone in the clubhouse with an adult other than a parent/guardian.

Coaches should not be left alone with young people at the end of a training session. Clearly state times for start and finish of training and/ or competitions. If late collections occur coaches should remain in pairs until participants have left. It is the responsibility of parents/ guardians to make arrangements for collection of young people.

If a child suffers an injury or accident the parents/guardians should be informed.

Blackrock Athletic Club

Travel and Away Trips Policy


Coaches and volunteers have the same responsibility to the athletes under their charge during away trips as they do in their home club.

Coaches/officials should supervise in pairs seek assistance from parent volunteers.

There is extra responsibility on the volunteers and coaches when they transport athletes to competitions and other away events.

·      They must ensure they have adequate insurance on their vehicle, follow the rules of the road including legal use of car seats and seatbelts.

·      Ensure they do not carry more than the permitted number of passengers.

·      Avoid being alone with one passenger.

·      Have central drop off locations.

·      Seek parental permission when transporting a child.

·      Parents and Guardians should be able to contact athletes and coaches during away trips.

Blackrock Athletic Club do not arrange overnight away trips. If an overnight away trip is planned by the Club then the ‘Athletics Ireland, ‘Child_Safeguarding_checklist_for_championships_and_traveling_AAI’ will apply. See Athletics Ireland Website or contact Child Welfare at Athletics Ireland

Phone: 01-8869932 / 086 2450134

Email: /

Policy and guidelines for Athletes attending away training and competitions.

Arrive on time and prepared for training / competition.

Wear Club singlet and bring spikes.

Check in with your coaches/supervisors at your indicated meeting point.

Collect your competition number (if applicable), pin it to your singlet and do not remove until the competition is completed.

Remain with your allocated group.

Do not leave your group without communicating to your group coaches or supervisors.

If a bathroom break is required bring a friend and inform your coach or supervisor.

Enjoy the competition and have fun.

Competitions are about taking a challenge, learning sportsmanship, and supporting your fellow athletes.   

Missing Child Policy

Guidelines to follow when a child is missing at training or sports event


If a child goes missing during training or at an event, the following procedure will apply:

1. Report the incident to club officials and coaches present, and if at an event the Event Director and/or Designated Safety Officer.

2. Ensure that all other children continue to be supervised appropriately (if applicable), while a search for the child concerned is carried out.

3. Organise the remaining available responsible adults to conduct a search of the surrounding area allocating each individual to a specific area.

4. Request all those searching report back within a short, specified time, dependent on the size of the area being searched.

If the child cannot be found after an initial search of the immediate surroundings, contact the child’s parents to advise them of the concern and reassure them that everything is being done to locate the child.

Record (in on an incident form) the circumstances in which the child has gone missing and where he/she was last seen and prepare a detailed physical description of the child, to include their hair and eye colour, approximate height and build and clothing he/she was wearing, as this will be required by the Gardaí and other searchers.

Report the concern to the Gardaí if the search is unsuccessful and no later than 20 minutes after the initial missing person report if the search is ongoing. Follow Gardaí guidance if further action is recommended and maintain close contact with the Gardaí.

Ensure that you inform all adults involved including the parents, searchers and Gardaí when the child is located.

Guidelines to follow if a child is found at a sports event

If a lost child is found during an event, the following procedure will apply:

1. Report the incident to the Event Director and/or Designated Safety Officer

2. Children under the age of 16 years will be kept in a Safe Area until collected by a parent, guardian or a member of an Garda Siochana. Children will be supervised at all times by two responsible adults who have been Garda vetted by Athletics Ireland.

3. Children over the age of 16 years will be free to leave or remain at the Safe Area if they wish after a Found Child form has been completed.

4. A responsible adult is one over the age of 18 years who the lost child or vulnerable person is comfortable with, and who demonstrates responsibility for the person/child and is not considered to pose an obvious threat to the person/child.

5. A Found Child form will be completed for each child including those over 16 who chose not to remain in the Safe Area.

6. Proof of identity may be requested by the Safe Area steward if they consider it necessary.

7. Children not collected by the end of the event will be passed over to the protection of the Gardaí.

Stewards should not escort a child or vulnerable person away from the scene alone. There should always be two stewards or a steward and another responsible adult with a child. At all times, the comfort and wellbeing of the child must be of paramount concern. If a child or vulnerable person appears unwilling to go with the other member of their group, consider contacting the Gardaí for further advice.

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 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


·       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


·       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 –

1.     During COVID-19 Restrictions when virtual training in in progress Open broadcast can be used.

2.     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.

Data Privacy Statement

Data Policy & Privacy Statement

Blackrock A.C. Reporting Policy April 2022

Reporting Policy and Procedures for Accidents, Incidents, Allegations, Disciplinary Breaches, and Complaints

The primary goal of Blackrock Athletic Club is to provide a positive Athletics experience for all our members. Our Child protection ethos, policies and procedures adopted by the Club help to provide a safe, positive, and nurturing environment where athletes can develop and enhance their physical and social skills.

Identifying and eliminating practices that impact negatively on safe and enjoyable participation in athletics goes hand and hand with our Child protection ethos.

As part of our safeguarding policy we:

  • adopt safeguarding best practice with guidance from Athletics Ireland through our policies, procedures, and code of conduct for volunteers, athletes, and parents
  • promote the safety and wellbeing of all our athletes and children
  • recruit volunteers safely, ensuring all are Garda Vetted
  • ensure volunteers know about our policies, procedures and behaviour codes and follow them confidently and competently
  • appoint a nominated Child Welfare Officer and a Designated Liaison Person to deal with issues of child abuse
  • ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate child safeguarding training to recognise, identify, and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children and young people

Despite considerable efforts, it is an unfortunate fact that incidents impacting the Athletics experience can and do occur from time to time.
The purpose of this policy is to describe the process for addressing them when they occur.


April 2022

Reporting Procedures

Reporting procedures may vary depending upon whether an incident concerns a matter solely within the Club’s Domain or a matter involving persons outside of the Club.
We appreciate the sensitive nature of reported incidents and will make every effort to ensure that information received by the Club is kept confidential, except to the limited extent necessary to evaluate and respond to reported incidents.

To ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of accidents / incidents or concerns of abuse and to provide support to the individual(s) who raise or disclose the concern Blackrock Athletic Club has developed the following Reporting Procedures:

  1. Procedures and Guidelines for Reporting Accidents
  2. Procedure for Code of Conduct breach by Juvenile Athlete
  3. Guidelines and Procedures for Disciplinary, Complaints & Appeals of Code of Behaviour Breaches
  4. Guidelines for a young person to report possible abuse
  5. Guidelines for Members when a child protection concern has been observed by them or reported to them including Guidelines for Responding to a Child, reporting an Incident / Abuse

(These policies/procedures are available on request)

If the incident / complaint is a child abuse concern

The designated person is responsible for reporting allegations or suspicions of child abuse to Health Services Executive and/or An Garda Siochána.

Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017 (ROI) defines four categories of abuse: neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. A child/young person may be subjected to one or more forms of abuse at any given time.   Blackrock Athletic Club DLP – Barry Thornton 083 0367197


Blackrock Athletic Club has the following guidance documents for the Designated Liaison Person when dealing with reporting of Child Welfare Concerns

  • Steps to be taken by DLP when a Child Welfare Concern is raised in the Club and Reporting Procedures for the DLP
  • Procedure for Reporting a concern about a child to Statutory Authorities / TUSLA
  • Procedure for Child Welfare Concerns not Reported to Statutory Authorities/ TUSLA
  • Internal Club procedures for dealing with a Member/Sports Leader/Volunteer/Child Member subject to a Child Welfare Concern

(These policies are available on request and are contained in the Club Document – Designated Liaison Person (DLP) – Roles, Responsibility and Procedures for dealing with a Child Welfare Concern

Summary Guide to Reporting Process

The following process outlines how a complaint received by a club should be handled in the first instance. The Complaints and Disciplinary Officer in Athletics Ireland can be consulted regarding this process as to how best to proceed on receipt of a complaint.

The Athletics Ireland Complaints and Disciplinary Officer is Kieron Stout.

Telephone 01 886 9933 or email

 Are you Concerned about the behaviour of an officer/coach/volunteer or member of your club?


If Yes

Could it also be Child Abuse?

NO     YES
Is it serious poor practice/an alleged breach of the role of ethics and conduct?

(Refer to codes of Conduct)

The Clubs Committee/ Children’s Officer will deal with it as a disciplinary issue. See –

Guidelines and Procedures for Disciplinary, Complaints & Appeals of Code of Behavior Breaches

If Concerns remain refer to Athletics Ireland

Report concerns to the Designated Liaison Person

Who must then ensure the safety of the child and other children. The DLP will then refer concerns to the TUSLAs and/or the Gardai

DLP should ‘informally consult’ with Statutory Services / TUSLA for advice and guidance if grounds for concern are unclear and refer to Athletics Ireland Mandated Person – Kieron Stout

If the allegation/concern refers to the club Child Welfare Officer/DLP – refer directly to Athletics Ireland who will facilitate referral of the concerns to social services who may involve the gardai.

Possible Outcomes:

–          Gardai/Social services enquiry

–          Criminal proceedings

–          Referral to AI Disciplinary Committee

–          Possible Civil proceedings


Blackrock Athletic Club Reporting Procedures

  1. Procedures and Guidelines for Reporting Accidents

In the event of an accident, the following reporting procedure will be carried out: –

All injuries/accidents related to the Clubs Activities including those on the premises, and accidents which occur when travelling or at away events, however slight, must be reported and recorded in our incident form and the Child Welfare Officer or Committee member must be furnished with the form as soon as possible. ( See Appendix 1)

  • An accident report form is completed by the attendee Coach or Volunteer in Charge as soon as possible in conjunction with the person who had the accident. Forms are available on Website or in Clubhouse (Top Drawer of Filing Cabinet).
  • Contact emergency services/ GP if required.
  • Record in detail all facts surrounding the accident, actions taken witnesses etc.
  • The Club Child Welfare Officer or Blackrock Athletic Club Committee member must be informed of the accident/incident as soon as possible and within 24hrs.
  • This form is signed by a member of the Club Committee or Child Welfare Officer who forwards the form to the Athletics Ireland insurer as appropriate.
  • The Committee must keep a record/copy of all Accident /Incident Forms. The Child Welfare Officer / Committee Member who is furnished with the form by the attendee coach/volunteer must pass the form to the Committee Secretary for filing and state what action was taken and when the Athletics Ireland insurer was informed.
  • In some circumstances the insurer may also carry out a more formal accident investigation.
  1. Procedure for Code of Conduct breach by Juvenile Athlete

Dealing with alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct and Club Rules

All athletes /members of the Club undertake to abide by Athletics Ireland Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children in Athletics, BAC Code of Conduct for Athletes/Coaches and Officials, and BAC Club rules upon registration. The Codes of Conduct and the Club rules are on the Club Website.

Club Codes of Conduct exist to ensure all children are safe, enjoy the training sessions, and respect is shown to all athletes and coaches.

Breaches of the Code of Conduct may occur from time to time, some of which may be minor breaches and some of which may be major breaches. Breaches may happen for several reasons including, but not limited to, carelessness, poor practice, and a lack of understanding or there may be, in some instances, deliberate or calculated breaches of the Code of Behaviour.

The attending Coach and/or Club Official will determine whether the breach is minor or major

Major breaches include but are not limited to any act which endangers the wellbeing or safety of the athlete themselves, other athletes, Club Coaches and Officials and members of the public. When serious breaches of the Constitution or the Codes of Conduct occurs, Stages 1 and 2 will be bypassed and Stage 3 will be invoked

If a child is not behaving and is disruptive at the training sessions

Step 1.  An informal verbal warning is given by the Coach if a rule is broken

Step 2.  Verbal warning by the Child Welfare Officer or Club Committee Member

Step 3.  Formal Verbal Warning:

If the rule is broken for the third time, then the child should be given a formal verbal warning. This verbal warning is given to the parent/guardian by the Child Welfare Officer or a member of the Club Committee. They should be advised of the reason for the warning and that it constitutes the first step of the disciplinary procedure (See Below –                     3. Guidelines and Procedures for Disciplinary, Complaints & Appeals of Code of Behaviour Breaches)

The verbal warning should be recorded, and the record should be kept by the Club Secretary It should be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after six months.


Blackrock A.C. Recruitment Policy for Club Officials Coaches and Volunteers

Blackrock Athletic Club relies on the time and commitment freely and generously given by volunteers.  It is recommended that all adults taking responsibility for young people in athletics should undergo a recruitment process. The following recruitment steps will help to protect young people and assist in placing volunteers in the position to which they are suited and supported.

In the Republic of Ireland Athletics coaches/officials/volunteers who work with young people must be checked by the Garda Vetting Service, attend Child Safeguarding Training, and sign up to Child Welfare Codes of Conduct. In addition volunteers in the club involved in coaching must attending coaching training.

The level of vetting/child safeguarding required for volunteers varies depending on the role that the individual performs in the club. The table below summarises Club policy and it is important that volunteers take responsibility and comply with the club policy and achieve the relevant level required for their role. Garda Vetting must be completed before any coaches begin coaching, vetting once received, is valid for 4 years before it needs to be renewed. Child safeguarding courses are also valid for 4 years before the individual must attend a refresher training course.  A time period of 6 months is allowed for coaches to complete child safeguarding level 1. Coaching training is ongoing.

Role Garda Vetting Child Safeguarding training Coaching Training Required Registered with Athletics Ireland
Coaches Yes Level 1 Yes Yes
Volunteer Parents Note 1 Level 1 Optional but encouraged Note 2
Adhoc event helpers No** No No No
Club Child Welfare Officers Yes Level 2 No Yes
Designated Liaison Person Yes Level 3 No Yes
Club Committee Officer roles Yes No No Yes
Club non committee roles Note 1 No No Note 2

** Individuals who help occasionally at club events do not require vetting or child safeguarding training but should not be unsupervised on their own with children at events.

Note 1. Individuals who volunteer regularly with coaching require vetting. Where a club non coaching role allows access to the club database with child contact details or the club website then the individual requires vetting. 

Note 2. Where the role requires the individual to be covered by insurance from Athletics Ireland they should be registered.

Code of Conduct for Officials Coaches and Volunteers

New coaches, officials  and volunteers must sign and furnish the club with a signed copy of the ‘Code of Conduct for Officials Coaches and Volunteers’ as an indication that they will abide by the code and the Athletics Ireland Child Welfare Document ‘Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children in Athletics’,  prior to commencement of their position in the club.

Volunteer Garda Vetting Policy and Procedure

It is Club policy that only vetted volunteers may coach or act in any role within the club. Vetting approval, once received, lasts for four years.  The time taken to process vetting can vary by individual, particularly where individuals have multiple prior addresses and overseas addresses. The process can therefore take a few weeks in some instances and a few months in other cases.


  1. Complete the Athletics Ireland eVetting form. (if you do not have an Athletics Ireland number please leave that blank when completing the form).
  1. Present the form with photocopies of ID’s to the Club Children’s Officers for validation and signing. (see website or notice board for contact details). The Childrens Officers will need to see the original documents (passport/driving licence) to vouch the documents.
  2. The Club Children’s Officer will vouch the ID’s to the original documents and post the eVetting Invitation form along with photocopies of the ID to Athletics Ireland, 19 Northwood Court in Santry.
  3. Athletics Ireland will then (usually within a fortnight) send you an e-mail inviting you to complete the online eVetting Application Form. (Please watch for this email in case it ends up in junk mail).
  4. Complete the online eVetting Application Form and submit it.
  5. Athletics Ireland will review the Vetting Application Form and submit it to the National Vetting Bureau for processing.
  6. The National Vetting Bureau processes the application and forwards a vetting disclosure to the Athletics Ireland Liaison Person. At this stage you will get an email to say that the vetting process is complete; however you must still await an approved vetting letter from Athletics Ireland.
  7. Athletics Ireland reviews the vetting disclosure and sends an approval letter.
  8. Please let the Club Children’s Officer know when you receive the approval letter from Athletics Ireland and keep this letter.

Club Children’s Officer is the Authorised Signatory with responsibility for processing the vetting forms:

Janice Kelly                          087 2336363

The Authorised Signatory and the Garda Vetting Unit have access to the Garda Vetting Form. The AS maintains strict confidentiality regarding applicant details. If a disclosure needs to be discussed by a review Committee, the applicant will be advised in advance, and will be invited to attend to discuss the information received from the Gardaí. This process is EXTREMELY confidential.

Blackrock A.C. will also follow Athletics Ireland Policy and Procedures in the event of vetting disputes and the setting up of a vetting Review Committee. The Athletics Ireland Vetting Policy and Procedures can be found on the Athletics Ireland Website.

Child Safeguarding 

Any individual whose role will have regular contact with children or vulnerable persons in the provision of relevant services must complete safeguarding training.  The Athletics Ireland Policy dealing with Child Safeguarding is (04/17).  This policy is part of the Safeguarding Statement for Athletics Ireland under the Children First Act 2015 Section 11(3). This policy sets out the accepted Safeguarding Workshops for Athletics Ireland together with any specific requirements for attendance and renewal of certification.   Vetting must be refreshed every four years and Athletics Ireland will allow a grace period after the expiry date of 4 months in which the individual must complete the required workshop.

Thus an individual is recruited by Blackrock Athletic juvenile section is required to attend Child Safeguarding Training.  The level of volunteer coach training in child safeguarding will vary depending on the role the volunteer has with the club. The majority of coaches will do level 1 training, and the course, once finished, lasts for 4 years before the volunteer must attend refresher training. The Club allows a grace period of 9 months to complete the child safeguarding level 1 training, and a grace period of 4 months to refresh the training when the 4 years are up.

The courses are run by Sport Ireland and delivered through the Local Sports Partnership and by Athletic Ireland.  The Club also runs a course every September for anyone who has not managed to book onto a course with the local sports partnership.

The refresher course for anyone requiring is:

Web link for Sport Ireland Safeguarding 1 E-Learning Refresher course:

Click here to access:


An official, coach or volunteer fails to comply with the club approved child welfare policy they will be asked to cease working with the Club

April 2022

Incident Report Form

Blackrock A.C. Incident Report Form

Guidelines for a Young Person to Report Possible Abuse

What can you do if you are being harmed, abused or are afraid of someone you know?

If you are being harmed or abused by someone you know, it could be hard for you to tell.  However, it is very important that you do tell so that you can get help. This could be a parent, another family member, a teacher, or someone involved in your life who will listen.

In Blackrock Athletic Club you may wish to discuss your concerns or seek advice from a Coach, your Children’s Officer or another trusted person in your Club.

Club Childrens’ Officer            Janice Kelly:  087 2336363

Designated Liaison Person     Barry Thornton:  083 0367197

Club Chairperson –                    Mark Cafferkey: 087 2281984

As a young person you are entitled to talk to your local Duty Social Worker in TUSLA Child and Family Agency

Unit 9, Nutgrove Retail Park


Dublin 14

Ph : 01 9213400

The Duty Social Worker has a legal responsibility to protect you and keep you safe.

You can also talk to Childline:  Ph: 1800 66 66 66