Statement of Intent
We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our members so they can swim in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our club.
If bullying does occur, all swimmers or parents should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING club.
This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the club Welfare Officer or any committee member.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.
Bullying can be;
- Emotional – being unfriendly, excluding (emotionally and physically), sending hurtful text messages, tormenting, (e.g. hiding goggles/floats, threatening gestures)
- Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
- Racist – racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
- Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
- Homophobic – because of, or focussing on the issue of sexual orientation
- Verbal – name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing, swearing at others
Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect.
Swimmers who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.
Our club has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.
Objectives of this Policy
All committee members, coaches and teachers, swimmers and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.
All committee members, teaching and coaching staff should know what the club policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported. All swimmers and parents should know what the club policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.
As a club we take bullying seriously. Swimmers and parents should be assured that they would be supported when bullying is reported.
Bullying will not be tolerated.
Signs and Symptoms
A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:
- Says s/he is being bullied
- Is unwilling to go to club sessions
- Becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
- Feels ill before training sessions
- Comes home with clothes torn or swimming equipment damaged
- Have possessions go “missing”
- Asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)
- Has unexplained cuts or bruises
- Is frightened to say what’s wrong
- Gives improbable excuses for any of the above
In more extreme cases:
- Starts stammering
- Cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
- Becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
- Is bullying other children or siblings
- Stops eating
These signs and behaviours may indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility.