Firstly, on behalf of the Welfare team, we would like to wish all swimmers and especially the parents and carers who make all of this happen a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Also, a very special welcome to those who may be just embarking on this journey and will be excited to be swimming in their first Kent Swimming Championships. Hopefully this piece will help reassure those who are new and perhaps not so new, that the welfare of your children and young people is paramount to all teachers, coaches, officials and volunteers, who make everything happen on a day to day basis. In addition, to those who have been involved for a period of time, I hope there are things that maybe new or go towards re-enforcing the importance of safeguarding and protecting children and young people.
As a club, Sevenoaks Swimming Club is required by its National Governing Body, Swim England (previously ASA) to adopt its Child Safeguarding Policies and Procedures Clubs; Wavepower 2016-19. Wavepower is a comprehensive document that covers all aspects of safeguarding from categorising the different types of abuse to proving useful templates and guidance for coaches, teachers and poolside helpers. Our intention as Welfare Officers, is to provide regular features, good practice and challenges that will help us ensure that SSC provides an exemplary environment, not only for each swimmer to achieve their potential, but to do so in a safe, positive and above all, fun environment. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, not the Welfare Officers alone, so we look forward to working with you to achieve our collective goals.
There are two areas that we would like to cover in this edition. Firstly to promote the real value parents can have in helping SSC to develop as a club that we all aspire it to be. Secondly to re-enforce the dangers of mobile phones and other image capturing devices within swimming, particularly in the changing room environment.
SSC, as you know, is predominantly a competitive swimming club and as such, positive parental behaviour is critical for ensuring that not only each and every swimmer achieves their potential, but to ensure that this is done in a manner that doesn’t take away from the enjoyment that a child has. As part of its ‘our game, not yours’ campaign, the Child Protection in Sport Unit developed this video Magic Sports Kit Video that shows several children involved in different sports describing how the behaviour of parents and spectators deteriorates when they wear their ‘magic sports kit’ – that is, when they compete.
We would also like highlight the dangers of mobile phones and other image capturing devices within the swimming environment and request that you adhere to the Head Coach’s rule to ensure mobile phones are not present at any time that you are representing SSC.
By following this simple rule, we can better protect our swimmers from any inappropriate disclosure of images Well, that’s about all for now, we hope you have found it useful and informative.
Liz Wallace & David Gentles- SSC Welfare Officers