This handbook has been developed from the NISA Template Parents' Handbook, available from the safeguarding section of their website. This document deviates from the template where:
- it provides additional useful information about Basingstoke Synchronised Skating Club,
- the relevant information is readily available elsewhere on this site,
- the information is subject to frequent change or
- has been edited to better match the requirements of an online document.
National Ice Skating Association Statement
The National ice Skating Association (NISA) is the Governing Body for ice skating in the UK. Its mission is to promote, develop and support all ice skating disciplines, within a safe and constructive environment that provides participants the opportunity to fulfil their potential and personal goals, within a recreational, fitness or competitive activity.
“Skate for Fun, Skate for Gold”, Skate for Life
NISA is recognised by the Sports Councils (UK Sport, Sport England, Scottish Sports Council, Sports Council for Wales and Sports Council for Northern Ireland) as the governing body of ice skating in the UK. It is affiliated to the International Skating Union (ISU), the international governing body for ice skating disciplines. The National Ice Skating Association of UK (NISA) is one of the oldest governing bodies in the UK, being founded as the National Skating Association of Great Britain (NISA) in February 1879. The NSA took part in founding the ISU. NISA's current functions can be summarised as follows:
- Membership subscriptions and servicing
- Test systems
- Coach education
- Judge/official education
- Major event management
- World Class programmes
NISA has more than 6,000 members and is responsible for both Figure Skating (singles, pairs, dance and synchronized) and Speed Skating (short track) ice skating disciplines.
More than 70,000 skaters complete the NISA accredited Learn to Skate programme (Skate UK) every year, which is available from the majority of ice rinks across the UK and available for both youngsters and adults.
NISA is a company limited by guarantee (Registration number 2677064) and is controlled by an elected Board of Directors all of whom work on a voluntary basis for the Association.
Basingstoke Synchronised Skating Club
Welcome to Basingstoke Synchronised Skating Club (BSSC)
We are a welcoming and friendly club that allows figure-skaters of all levels and ages to skate together. Basingstoke has had synchro teams for over 18 years, and has been one of the most successful synchronised skating clubs in Great Britain. We may be made up of three teams, but first and foremost we are ONE and we promote a great team spirit. Senior and more experienced skaters will spend time helping younger or newer members, or anyone that may need their help and support.
Synchronized skating is a discipline where up to 20 skaters skate as a team, moving together as one unit. All the skaters in the team must be similarly competent at a wide variety of skating skills. The team performs a program to music including specified elements and step sequences. Synchronised skating is a fast and furious sport, but it also has precision, grace and elegance. Synchronized skating uses the same judging system as singles, pairs and ice dance.
The first synchronized skating team was formed in 1956 in Michigan in the USA and the sport has been growing in popularity ever since. The ISU held the first Synchronized Skating World Championships in 2000 in Minneapolis, USA.
Membership costs are determined by the ice-time allocated to each team and number of teams for which a skater trains and competes. The current monthly costs are:
- Snowdrops £35 per member
- Snowstorm £45 per member
- Black Ice £60 per member
- Ice Age £60 per member
Membership is paid monthly to account:
Account Name: BISC Precision
Acc No: 01277769
Sort Code: 309053
Please add the skater's name as a reference to payments.
Skaters training with two teams make an additional membership payment to cover additional costs, although this is less than the total membership costs for two teams. Skaters 'rookieing' with a team are not charged the additional team costs.
A club membership form can be downloaded from the 'Documents and Forms' area of this website.
BSSC holds Public Liability Insurance with NISA that coveers ice skating-recognized activities
All skaters must be a member of NISA (The National Ice Skating Association – our governing body). Membership forms can be downloaded from the NISA website, and must be returned to NISA direct.
Membership is rquired to meet the terms of our public liability insurance. Also, without membership you will not be able to compete in Synchro Competitions, The British Championships or take tests. On several occasions, NISA has supplied funding to our skaters either by putting on a free training camp or contributing to the expenses incurred in competition. It is up to you to ensure that your membership is kept up to date.
To compete in NISA competitions and the British Championships, each team has to achieve a set level of tests. It is therefore necessary for us to ensure that all members of the squad have the required tests. NISA have put in place tests which means that skaters must have completed relevant field moves. It is advisable that for these tests you will need to have lessons with a coach. The coaches can provide more information on the tests required.
Training times are under review, but at present the teams have on-ice training at the following times:
- Snowdrops Thursday 6:00pm - 6:30pm
- Snowstorm Thursday 6:15pm - 7:00pm
- Black Ice Tuesday 5:45pm - 6:45pm
- Ice Age Tuesday 6:00pm - 7:00pm
The teams also have additional 'off-ice' practice in the run-up to competitions. This usually takes place on Saturdays at the Aldworth School near the rink, Basingstoke, RG22 6HA.
Skaters are expected to attend all training sessions. Frequent absences can disrupt the planning and practice of routines.
Dress and Equipment
Once you have joined the team, you will be issued with your synchro practice kit. A one-off non refundable hire charge of £25 is made for the use of this during your stay in the team. You will also be issued with official kit and trolley bag which should not be worn/used unless you are taking part in an official synchro event. Any missing or damaged kit must be replaced at the current market value. Should you decide to leave all kit needs to be returned.
The appearance of the team is extremely important. Hair must be tidy at all times, not just when skating but when travelling and staying away in hotels etc. Hair needs to be in a tidy bun for weekly practice. Please repair tights immediately a small hole appears - this is not only from an appearance point but also increases the life of the tights. Also please ensure that all kit is maintained to a high standard, including weekly practice dress. Boots must be cleaned and maintained regularly, i.e. blades sharpened at the appropriate times, and blades checked regularly to ensure that they are securely fixed to the boots.
Unless instructed otherwise, practice dress must be worn for all training sessions.
Ladies must wear their hair in a bun, fringes back with team scrunchie and their own flesh-coloured skating tights. These should be in good condition and any large holes repaired.
Male skaters are expected to supply their own black trousers for the weekly practice sessions. The coaches will advise on the type of trousers that may be worn.
Skaters travelling to or representing BSSC at competitions should wear BSSC team joggers, sweatshirt, polo shirt and jacket. Your full practice kit should be available for competition practice sessions.
Competition dress is supplied but you will be asked to buy your own competition tights if required. Competition tights are purchased in bulk as it is important that all the skaters’ legs look the same colour when competing – these will be supplied at a cost to yourself. Please make sure they are washed and mended at the end of each competition and not worn again until the next competition. At the end of the season they are yours to use as and when. The practice tights are supplied free of charge when you are required to wear your official practice dresses.
Male skaters' competition outfits will include trousers as part of the costume.
Your trolley bag should contain skates, practice dress and any other products required for the competition venue. Other clothes and overnight dress, toiletries etc should be carried in a separate case. This is not provided by the club.
All dates, events and durations of stay will be confirmed nearer the time, and overnight stays will depend on starting times of the competitions. Every effort is made to limit the expense of any competition we compete in. The following price examples are only guidelines for costing, and they may well be more than this on the day.
Competing in the UK
The cost of competing in the UK can vary and will depend on the distance travelled, the number of Basingstoke teams attending the event, whether accommodation is required, the meal requirements, coaching fees (dependant on the number of days), and competition entry fees, etc. We would suggest budgeting at least £150.00 per competition that requires no accommodation and at least £250 for a competition that requires one night’s accommodation. We do as a club try to subsidise most trips to some degree. We also fund raise to go towards competitions.
Costs can vary greatly depending on the transport used, the duration of the stay, and the country we visit. A suggested guide for these competitions would be an average £400 per trip for a European Competition.
Passports/Visas must be organised by the skater/parent/guardian prior to travelling abroad and must have a minimum 6 months left before expiry after the return date. Also all skaters must have their E111 card.
Dressers travel with the squad to competitions. In addition to maintaining and repairing the competition outfits, washing the dresses and official practice tights after competitions, allocating dresses to team members, they assist the teams with their hair and outfits for the competitions, deal with immediate problems, first aid and generally take care of the team when not on the ice. Dressers pay all their own expenses and receive the same subsidy as skaters. The teams are very appreciative of all their hard work and effort.
With so many skaters under the age of 16, it is important that we have chaperones travelling with the teams when competing or taking part in training camps. Each chaperone will be allocated a small group of skaters to look after whilst travelling and staying away in a hotel/hostel. They will also look after any skaters who may be taken ill whilst away - this can mean that they maybe unable to watch their own child skate in a competition. Again chaperones pay all their own expenses, and the team are very appreciative of their hard work and effort.
Medical and General Information
Every member of the Squad, dressers and chaperones are asked to complete a medical questionnaire when joining the club and before each competition. These help the coaches and other club officials deal appropriately with any incidents of injury or illness. You should also make the coaches aware of any specific injury or illness that may affect your ability to skate safely for a particular practice or competition.
Completed medical forms will be carried by the Team Manager and available to the dressers and chaperones when accompanying the skaters on trips.
Without an up-to-date form, you may not be allowed to travel and compete in competitions.
The medical form can be downloaded from the 'Documents and Forms' section of this site.
In order to keep the cost of synchronised skating as low as possible, BSSC actively fundraises. During the last few years we have been fairly successful in making money from fund raising events, and obtaining sponsorship etc. The fund raising is then shared equally between those that have taken part in that particular event by putting it towards their competition costs or put into the fund raising account for new kit.
We ask all members to approach their schools, colleges, universities or places of work to try and obtain any contributions/donations which can then go towards competition costs, new kit etc for the teams.
As a volunteer organisation Basingstoke Synchronised Skating Club is exempt from registration with the Information Commissioner's Office as long as it continues to meet the following criteria:
- BSSC remains a not-for-profit organisation, or any profit or surplus is not used to enrich others,
- only processes information necessary to establish or maintain membership or support,
- only processes information necessary to provide or administer activities for people who are members of the organisation or have regular contact with it,
- only shares the information with people and organisations necessary to carry out the organisation’s activities, unless an individual has given explicit permission to share their information more widely,
- only keep the information while the individual is a member or supporter or as long as necessary for member/supporter administration.
Irrespective of this exemption, staff, volunteers, parents and skaters of Basingstoke Synchronised Skating Club should:
- keep personal data in a secure environment, minimising the risk of its loss or misuse,
- transfer data using encryption and secure password protected devices,
- be aware that email communications are not secure and can be monitored.
Users must immediately report, to the nominated person, the receipt of any email that makes them feel uncomfortable, is offensive, threatening or bullying in nature and must not respond
Codes of Conduct
The Club is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of all its members. The club believes that it is important that members, coaches, administrators and parents associated with the club should at all times show respect and understanding for the safety and welfare of others. Therefore, members are encouraged to be open at all times and to share any concerns or complaints that they may have about any aspect of the club with the Club Welfare Officer.
Sports clubs should offer a positive experience for children and young people and where they can learn new things in a safe and positive environment.
As a member of The Club you are expected to abide by the following code of practice:
Members are expected to:
- Be loyal and give their friends a second chance.
- Be friendly and particularly welcoming to new members.
- Be supportive and committed to other team members, offer comfort when required.
- Keep yourself safe.
- Report inappropriate behaviour or risky situations for youth members.
- Be fair and be trustworthy
- Respect coaches, judges and accept decisions.
- Show appropriate loyalty and be gracious in defeat.
- Respect opponents.
- Not cheat or be violent and aggressive.
- Make your club a fun place to be.
- Keep within the defined boundary of the coaching area.
- Behave and listen to all instructions from the coach.
- Show respect to other children and young people and show team spirit.
- Take care of equipment owned by the club.
- Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all participants regardless of age, gender, ability, race, cultural background or religious beliefs or sexual identity.
- Refrain from the use of bad language or racial/sectarian references. This includes bullying using social media or texting.
- Not get involved in inappropriate peer pressure and push others into something they do not want to do
- Keep to agreed timings for training and competitions or inform their coach if they are going to be late.
- Wear suitable clothing and footwear
- Pay any fees for training or events promptly.
- Not smoke on club premises or whilst representing the club at competitions.
- Not consume alcohol or drugs of any kind on the club premises or whilst representing the club.
Members have the right to:
- Be safe and happy in their chosen activity
- Be listened to
- Be respected and treated fairly
- Enjoy your sport in a protective environment
- Be referred to professional help if needed
- Be protected from abuse by other member or outside sources
- Participate on an equal basis, appropriate to their ability
- Experience competition and the desire to win
- Be believed
- Ask for help
- Have any concerns taken seriously and acted upon
Any minor misdemeanours and general misbehaviour will be addressed by the coach and reported verbally to the designated person. More serious or persistent misbehaviour may result in disciplinary action and potentially dismissal from the club/sport. Parents will be informed at all stages.
Disciplinary action can be appealed to the coach with final decisions taken by the club committee or referred to NISA depending on the disciplinary procedures within the sport.
Parents and Carers
Parents and Carers play an essential part in a child’s enjoyment of sports.
To help your child have a positive experience remember to:
- Focus on what your child wants to get out of sport
- Be the best role model you can be
- Help your child achieve their potential
- Be respectful of other children and coaches
- Communicate with the coach and Club
As parents and carers, you are expected to:
- Positively reinforce your child and show an interest in their chosen activity
- Do not place your child under pressure or push them into activities they do not want to do
- Complete and return the Registration, Medical and Consent Form pertaining to your child's participation with the Club
- Be responsible for ensuring your child arrives and is collected punctually before and after sessions/competitions/events
- Ensure your child has appropriate kit and clothing. Any child not in possession of the fundamental requirements will not be permitted to participate
- Detail any relevant medical concerns or conditions pertaining to their child on the registration/consent form. Any changes in the state of the child's health should be reported to the coach or Club staff prior to the activity
- To inform the coach prior to the activity starting if your child is to be collected early
- Encourage your child to play by the rules, and teach them that they can only do their best
- Ensure that your child understands their code of conduct
- Behave responsibly whilst spectating; do not embarrass your child
- Show appreciation and support the coach
- Be realistic and supportive
- Ensure your child has appropriate showering equipment, plus adequate food and drink when necessary
- Accept the decisions of coaches, judges and other officials
- Promote your child’s participation in participating for the love and fun of the sport
As a parents/carer you have the right to:
- Be assured that your child is safeguarded during their participation in sport
- Be informed of problems or concerns relating to your children
- Be informed if your child is injured
- Have your consent sought for participation in event, trips and competition
- Have your consent sought for participation in film or photography
- Contribute to decisions within the Club
- Have any concerns about any aspect of your child’s welfare listened to responded to
Any breaches of this code of conduct will be dealt with immediately by a Designated Person. Persistent concerns or breaches may result in you being asked not to attend games if your attendance is considered detrimental to the welfare of young participants.
Coaches, Club Officials and Volunteers
Coaches and volunteers involved in sport for children and young people have a great opportunity to be a positive role model and help build an individual’s confidence.
Staff and volunteers are expected to:
- Ensure the safety of all children by providing effective supervision, proper pre-planning of coaching sessions, using safe methods at all times
- Consider the wellbeing and safety of children before the development of performance
- Encourage children to accept responsibility for their own performance and behaviour
- Treat all children and young people fairly and ensure they feel valued. Have no favourites
- Encourage all children not to discriminate on the grounds of religious beliefs, race, gender, social classes or lack of ability
- Not allow any rough or dangerous play, bullying, or the use of bad language or inappropriate behaviour
- Appreciate the efforts of all young people and do not push individuals unnecessarily. Never exert undue influence over performers to obtain personal benefit or reward
- Always be positive, approachable and offer praise to promote the objectives of the Club
- Not let any allegations of abuse of any kind or poor practice to go unchallenged or unrecorded. Incidents and accidents to be recorded in the line with the Club’s procedures. Parents must be informed
- Never use sanctions that humiliate or harm young people.
- Report accidents or incidents of alleged abuse or poor practice to the designated person
- Administer minor first aid in the presence of others and where required refer more serious incidents to the Club "first aider"
- Have access to telephone for immediate contact to emergency services if required
- Foster team work to ensure the safety of youth members in their care
- Ensure the rights and responsibilities of youth members are enforced
- Establish and address the additional needs of disabled children or other vulnerable groups
- Not abuse members physically, emotionally or sexually
- Not engage in a sexual relationship with a young person for whom they are responsible
- Maintain confidentiality about personal or sensitive information
- Respect and listen to the opinions of young people
- Take time to explain coaching techniques to ensure they are clearly understood
- Develop an appropriate working relationship with participants, based on mutual trust and respect
- Be a role model, displaying consistently high standard of behaviour and appearance (disciplined/committed/time keeping), remember children learn by example
- Refrain from smoking and consumption of alcohol during club activities or coaching sessions
- Never condone rule violations, rough play or the use of prohibited substances
- not spending excessive amounts of time alone with children unless in exceptional circumstances
- Never taking children to their home
- Not administering First Aid involving the removing of children’s clothing unless in the presence of others
- Hold appropriate valid qualifications and insurance cover
- Make the sport/activity fun
Staff and volunteers have the right to:
- Access on-going training and information on all aspects of leading/managing activities for youths, particularly on Safeguarding
- Support in the reporting suspected abuse or poor practice
- Access to professional support services
- Fair and equitable treatment by NISA and the Club
- Be protected from abuse by children/youths, other adult members and parents
- Not to be left vulnerable when working with children
Any minor misdemeanours and general misbehaviour will be dealt with immediately and reported verbally to the designated person. Serious or persistent breach of the code will result in disciplinary action and could lead to dismissal from the club/sport.
Dismissals can be appealed by the coach/volunteer with final decisions taken by the Club committee or referred to the governing body depending on the disciplinary procedures within the sport.
NISA Safeguarding Policy
Sport can and does have a very powerful and positive influence on people – especially young people. Not only can it provide opportunities for enjoyment and achievement; it can also develop valuable qualities such as self-esteem, leadership and teamwork. These positive effects can only take place if sport is in the right hands, namely in the hands of those who prioritise the welfare of all children and young people and vulnerable adults and adopt practices that support, protect and empower them.
NISA has a duty of care, based in law and guidance, in order to safeguard all skaters from abuse. We believe that every person has the right to feel safe and be protected from any situation or practice that could result in him or her being physically or psychologically harmed. It is essential that the people we work with do not feel threatened or abused by anything we say or do and this policy sets out the safeguards we have in place to protect them from abuse. It is also essential that they themselves are aware of the safeguards we have in place and to know where to go should they have concerns of this nature. Every person involved in ice skating has therefore a legal and moral responsibility to protect children and young people from abuse.
NISA is committed to safeguarding the well-being of the children and young people, vulnerable adults, parents, carers, coaches, staff and volunteers who are involved in the organisation. We recognise that children and young people have rights as individuals and should be valued, listened to and treated with respect. All children and vulnerable young people are at risk of abuse and we therefore aim to achieve excellent standards of safeguarding in all areas.. http://iceskating.org.uk/is/assets/File/Safeguarding%20and%20protecting.pdf
All NISA affiliates and members will:
- accept the moral and legal responsibility to implement procedures to provide a duty of care for young people and vulnerable adults, safeguard their wellbeing and protect them from harm;
- respect and promote the rights, wishes and feelings of young people and vulnerable adults
- recognise that some young people and vulnerable adults face additional barriers to getting help because of increased vulnerabilities which could include their ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, social background or culture
- ensure they adopt best practice to safeguard and protect young people and vulnerable adults from abuse and to reduce the likelihood of allegations being made against themselves
- accept and abide by the Safeguarding Policy and Procedures and the NISA Code of Ethics and Conduct as well as all other policies, procedures and guidance respond appropriately to any complaints about poor practice or allegations of abuse.
We are committed to recruiting staff, coaches and volunteers safely, ensuring all the necessary checks are made. We recognise and promote that all staff, committee members and coaches in paid and voluntary positions have a duty to prevent the abuse of children and vulnerable adults and report any safeguarding concerns to the relevant person. NISA will share concerns with agencies that need to know, involving parents, carers / enablers, children and vulnerable adults appropriately. This document sets out the policy, case management processes and reporting procedures for all staff, coaches or volunteers when engaged in skating activities with children and young people. Any complaint about the way that NISA has handled a particular safeguarding concern will be logged through our Complaints Policy and addressed by the relevant team.
NISA Guidance on Welcoming and Safeguarding Children with a Disability
NISA are committed to ensuring ice skating is open, and accessible, to all members of the community and they are supported to achieve their potential in any capacity whether as a skater, employee, volunteer, coach or official. This principle applies regardless of, age, race, disability, ability, gender, religion or belief, sexual orientation or background.
We aim to welcome as many people as possible into the sport - regardless of background - and ensures opportunities within the sport are open and accessible to all. Many children with disabilities or special needs can be welcomed into the sport with a sensible approach that involves talking with the child and his or her parents about what their abilities are and what they may need some assistance or different arrangement with. Children with disabilities are children first, and need to enjoy opportunities and experiences open to all children in a safe environment. NISA is committed to supporting disabled children to be fully involved in ice skating through the provision of a range of activities, training and supportive good practice guidance.
To help achieve this in ice skating we are committed to supporting ice club personnel including coaches, officials and other volunteers to ensure they are inclusive of, and safeguard, children with disabilities.
NISA is aware the most valuable resource within clubs are the staff and volunteers who appreciate the value of ice skating for disabled children and are supported to develop the confidence, will, and desire, to ensure they can become fully integrated members of the ice skating family.
In the first instance, the club should discuss the child’s needs and abilities with the child and his or her parents/carers. For many children with a disability, parents and carers will be able to offer practical advice on adaptations or arrangements that can be made to enable their child to participate. It is good practice to agree a support plan with the parents and the child, and to review this regularly. The club welfare officer should be involved in this process. It may be necessary or useful to involve the child and the parent /carer in the plan itself, if this will help meet the child’s needs and allow them to participate. Remember, many children may have hidden disabilities (or special needs) – such as an autistic spectrum disorder, or deafness, or another condition that is not obvious.
It is important during the registration process and/ or welcome meeting to offer the opportunity for parents to meet someone in private to discuss their child, if they would like to do so. This forms part of our ‘Welcoming’ approach for all children, including those with disabilities. Children with disabilities have particular vulnerability to abuse and neglect – club personnel should be aware of these, see the NSPCC document "Safeguarding and inclusion of deaf and disabled children and young people".
BSSC Safeguarding Policy
BSSC acknowledges the 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 best practice and NISA requirements.
The policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, gender, religion or beliefs, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, all children;
As part of our safeguarding policy BSSC will:
- Ensure all Club coaches, helpers and officials working with young people should read and adhere to the NISA Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy. The Club will follow the guidance of the policy in the event of any concerns or allegations
- 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
- The Club will ensure that anyone who meets the eligibly criteria for a Disclosure check will not be deployed until a satisfactory check has been returned
- Ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation
- The Club will obtain written contact, and medical details of all club players which will be made known to coaches, where deemed appropriate and/or necessary
- The Club will identify a person whose role it is to deal with any issues concerning Child Protection and Harassment (Club Welfare Officer) and notify this person to all members. Anyone with concerns with respect to Child Abuse or Harassment should contact that person. If that person is unavailable they can contact the NISA Lead Safeguarding Officer
- The policy and procedures will be widely promoted and are mandatory for everyone involved in BSSC. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in dismissal/exclusion from the Club
Safeguarding Roles & Responsibilities of the Club
Club Welfare Officer (CWO)
The club Welfare Officer is the person appointed at club level and provides the essential point of contact for welfare within the club. The CWO is the person who has responsibility for receiving and acting upon concerns reported to them within the club setting.
The club Welfare Officer should be selected for their skills and knowledge, such as being able to handle safeguarding matters in an appropriate and confidential manner. They should be approachable for any concerns regarding safeguarding and be appropriately supported by other members of the club. The CWO will report concerns to the SLO and offer advise at a club level where safeguarding concerns have arisen. Along with the club committee and rink management, the Club Welfare Officer should ensure that the club is adopting and implementing the safeguarding policy. Clubs are advised to ideally have two Club Welfare Officers, with at least one not holding a coaching position or being related to a coach at the Club.
NISA Safeguarding Lead Officer (SLO)
Every sports organisation should designate a person to promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults within the sport. The role includes liaising with the DBS recruitment process, co-ordinating the dissemination of relevant safeguarding policies, procedures and resources as well as supporting Club Welfare Officers in their roles. The SLO also provides support for the NISA board, as well as managing the administration of cases of poor practice/abuse within the sport and contribution to the Case management panel when cases arise. This includes being the central point of contact for enquiries such as from complainants, the LADO, Children’s Social Care and/or the Police. The SLO is the NISA national lead for receiving and acting upon concerns of a safeguarding nature. This person will receive concerns about:
- unacceptable behaviour of a member of staff or volunteer towards a child
- unacceptable behaviour towards a child by someone within a club setting
- concerns of a serious or significant nature
- any concerns arising outside of a club situation, such as privately owned and run Ice rinks
- any concerns outside the scope of the CWO.
Further information can be found in the Safeguarding and Protecting Young People policy
Internet and Social Media Policy
The requirement to ensure that club members use the internet and related communications technologies appropriately and safely is addressed as part of the wider duty of care to which all coaches, club officials and members are bound. This policy applies to all members of the club, including club officers, skaters, coaches, volunteers, parents / carers and visitors.
The club will deal with such incidents within this policy and associated behaviour and anti-bullying policies and will, where known, inform parents / carers of incidents of inappropriate behaviour that take place.
Parents and carers play a crucial role in ensuring that their children understand the need to use the internet, social media and mobile devices in an appropriate way. The club will therefore take every opportunity to help parents understand these issues if needed.
Email, Websites, Blogs and Social Media (collectively referred to here as Electronic Communications or 'ECs') are important means of sharing information between BSSC coaches, officials, skaters and the outside world. However, the use of ECs carries with it some responsibilities.
Within the definition of ECs, we include:
- Email Accounts
- Online discussion forums
- Collaborative spaces
- Media sharing services e.g. Youtube
- ‘Micro blogging’ applications e.g. Twitter, Facebook
EC Messages can take the form of, for example:
- Images, including photographs
- Web Pages
- Blog Entries
- Forum Posts
- Comments or Responses to online media
Generally, no EC should be considered a confidential means of communication. Coaches,club officials, parents/guardians and skaters should bear in mind that communications can be very easily read by those for whom they were not intended and in particular recognise that they can be:
- intercepted by third parties (legally or otherwise),
- wrongly addressed,
- forwarded accidentally by initial recipients to third parties against your wishes,
- viewed accidentally on recipients’ computer screens or mobile devices.
Sensitive personal data should not be communicated by EC unless the express permission of the subject has been obtained or unless adequate encryption facilities have been employed.
Coaches, club officials, parents and skaters must not include any aggressive, threatening, bullying or defamatory comments in any EC message. Messages are a form of publication and the laws relating to defamation apply. A comment made in jest can be misinterpreted by its recipient. In – for example - a case of harassment it is the effect of a communication which is considered and not the intention of the sender. See the bullying policy for more details.
Coaches, club officials, parents and skaters must never use a false identity in messages and must be aware that there is no guarantee that messages received were in fact sent by the purported sender. If, for any reason, a message is sent on behalf of someone else the sender must make that clear at the beginning of the message.
Club members must not present their personal views or opinions as representing the position of the BSSC unless authorised to do so in their role as an official of the club.
The laws of copyright apply to EC messages and attachments must be respected.
Documents attached to messages may contain information from which the history of a document’s creation may be deduced. This data may identify those involved in generating or altering that item.
Putting personal information (and especially personal sensitive information) in an unencrypted EC message bears significant risk and is not an acceptable practice. Extra care must be taken when sending messages containing personal information to countries outside the European Economic Area, especially if those countries do not have equivalent levels of protection for personal data.
The law also imposes rules on the retention of personal data. Such data should be kept only for as long as it is needed for the purpose for which it was collected.
Photography and Filming Policy
When using digital images, coaches, club officals and skaters should recognise the risks attached to publishing their own images on the internet e.g. on social networking sites.
Coaches are allowed to take and use images to support teaching aims, but must follow club policies concerning the sharing, distribution and publication of those images. Those images should only be taken on coaches' equipment.
Care should be taken when taking images that skaters are not participating in activities that put them at risk or bring the individuals or the club into disrepute.
Skaters must not take, use, share, publish or distribute images of others without their permission
Photographs and videos published on the website, or elsewhere that include skaters will be selected carefully and will comply with good practice guidance on the use of such images.
Young skaters should only be photgraphed in an appropriate environment under the supervision of a responsible adults. Photogaphy in a private unsupervised setting (i.e. skater's home) should be avoided.
Photography is not permitted in seggregated areas, for example changing rooms, or where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Avoid taking photographs or videos of skaters in physical or emotional distress (for example, if injured after a fall or collision).
Many venues impose their own photography policy that is more restrictive than the policy outlined here. If you intend to photograph, video or stream images at a venue, you should obtain the necessary authorisation beforehand, ensure your equipment complies with any restrictions (i.e. no SLRs with removeable lenses) and respect any instructions from the venue staff.
A skater's full name (surnames) will not be used on the website or blog, particularly in association with photographs.
Written permission from parents or carers will be obtained before photographs of skaters are published on the club website.
A skater's work can only be published with the permission of the skater and parents or carers.
Every child has the right to participate in ice skating free from the fear of bullying. Bullying may be seen as deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those bullied to defend themselves.
Bullying has the potential to cause permanent harm (physical, emotional or psychological). Clubs should take steps to prevent bullying behaviour wherever possible and respond to incidents when they occur. A preventative approach means that sport is playing its part to create an environment and society in which people treat each other with respect.
Bullying can take the form of:
- verbal: name calling, teasing, threatening, spreading rumours, sarcasm, racist taunts, homophobic bullying, graffiti and gestures
- physical: hitting, kicking, punching, spitting, stealing/breaking belongings
- emotional: ignoring, hurtful emails/text messages, excluding from activities, tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating.
Although anyone can be the target of bullying, victims are typically shy, sensitive and perhaps anxious or insecure. Sometimes they are singled out for physical reasons – being overweight, physically small, having a disability or belonging to a different race, faith or culture.
Bullies come from all walks of life; they bully for a variety of different reasons and may even have been bullied or abused themselves. Typically, bullies can have low self-esteem, be excitable, aggressive or jealous. The competitive nature of sport can make it an ideal environment for the bully. The bully in ice skating can be:
- a parent who pushes too hard
- a coach who adopts a ‘win-at-all costs’ philosophy
- a player who intimidates
- an official who places unfair pressure on a person
- a spectator who shouts abuse.
The damage inflicted by bullying can frequently be underestimated. It can cause considerable distress to children, young people and vulnerable adults, to the extent that it affects their health and development or, in extreme cases, causes them to self-harm or consider suicide.
There are a number of signs that may indicate a person is being bullied. These signs may indicate other problems or be a reaction to other events in a child or young person’s life but the possibility of bullying should be considered:
- sudden reluctance to go to activities such as training or events that they used to enjoy or a drop off in performance/attendance
- regularly feeling ill before training or events
- physical signs such as stomach-aches, headaches, difficulty in sleeping, bedwetting, scratching and bruising, coming home with damaged equipment or clothes
- behavioural changes such as becoming withdrawn, anxious, clingy, depressed, tearful, aggressive, unreasonable
- start bullying others; a shortage of money or frequent loss of possessions
- In more extreme cases, they might stop eating, start stammering, cry themselves to sleep, have nightmares, run away or threaten/attempt suicide.
Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people may face homophobic bullying. Homophobia is often driven by a lack of understanding which only serves to strengthen stereotypes and can lead to actions that cause LGB people to feel excluded, isolated or undervalued.
Adults bullying children or young people
Serious cases for example if the bullying included physical abuse or racist name calling, may be considered abuse and so may be referred to the Police or Children’s Social Care.
The adult should receive clear guidance on how their behaviour needs to be modified and monitored to ensure this is achieved.
The Club will:
- recognise its duty of care and responsibility to safeguard all participants from harm
- promote and implement this anti-bullying policy in addition to our safeguarding policy and procedures
- seek to ensure that bullying behaviour is not accepted or condoned
- require all members of the Club to be given information about, and sign up to, this policy
- take action to investigate and respond to any alleged incidents of bullying
- encourage and facilitate children and young people to play an active part in developing and adopting a code of conduct to address bullying
- ensure that coaches are given access to information, guidance and/or training on bullying.
Each participant, coach, volunteer or official will:
- respect every child’s need for, and rights to, a play environment where safety, security, praise, recognition and opportunity for taking responsibility are available
- respect the feelings and views of others
- recognise that everyone is important and that our differences make each of us special and should be valued
- show appreciation of others by acknowledging individual qualities, contributions and progress
- be committed to the early identification of bullying, and prompt and collective action to deal with it
- ensure safety by having rules and practices carefully explained and displayed for all to see
- report incidents of bullying they see – by doing nothing you are condoning bullying.
Support for the Victim and the bully
The bully will need support to help them realise why their behaviour is wrong and assistance to change their behaviour. NISA should involve the bully’s parents and the young person’s school (if appropriate) in ensuring their behaviour is improving and any problems which may have caused them to bully are being addressed.
The victim’s parents should be involved and they should be supported to ensure they feel able to remain in the programme.
Action to Help the Victim and Prevent Bullying
When a victim of bullying has come forward or when evidence of bullying has been identified, the coach, CWO or responsible official should:
- take all signs of bullying very seriously
- encourage all children to speak and share their concerns. Help the victim to speak out and tell the person in charge/someone in authority. Create an open environment
- investigate all allegations and take action to ensure the victim is safe. Speak with the victim and the bully(ies) separately
- reassure the victim that you can be trusted and will help them, although you cannot promise to tell no one else (if a young person, you should inform the bully(ies) parents
- keep records of what is said (what happened, by whom, when)
- report any concerns to the NISA Safeguarding Lead.
Action Towards the Bully(ies)
If the bullies can been identified, a coach, CWO or other official of the club should:
- talk with the bully(ies), explain the situation, and try to get the bully(ies) to understand the consequences of their behaviour. Seek an apology to the victim(s)
- if the bully is a young person, inform the bully(ies) parents
- insist on the return of borrowed items and that the bully(ies) compensate the victim
- impose sanctions as necessary
- encourage and support the bully(ies) to change behaviour
- hold meetings with the families to report on progress
- inform all organisation members of action taken
- keep a written record of action taken.
Club Complaints & Disciplinary Procedure
The welfare of the child is paramount to the Club. In order to assist the NISA and the Club in upholding this principle you are asked to submit any complaints or concerns using the online form. When completing the form please give full names and their Club roles. Concerns may be about the behaviour of any child or adult involved or spectating at your Club and could include:
- General concerns about a child’s welfare
- Concerns related to a safeguarding incident e.g. bullying or poor practice
- Concerns, suspicions or allegations of misconduct
- Breaches of the NISA Safeguarding Policy
- Allegations of abuse made by or against any child or adult
If you would like further details of recognition, responding and what should be reported please refer to the NISA Safeguarding Policy (Section 2) which can be found on Safeguarding pages of the NISA website:
To discuss a specific concern or issue please contact the Club Welfare Officer or NISA Lead Safeguarding Officer in the first instance.
Emergency Action and First Aid
All coaches, staff and volunteers should be prepared with an action plan in the event of an emergency and be aware of our First Aid Procedures
This will include:
- Access to first aid equipment
- Telephone contact if the participant is a minor
- Telephone contact to the emergency services
NISA Lead Safeguarding Officer
Tel: 01159 888 060 / Tel: 07535 041881
NSPCC Helpline (24 hours)
Tel: 0808 800 5000
NSPCC – Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU)
Tel: 0116 234 7278
Local Authority Designated Officers (LADO)
See local phone directories, internet search engines or via Local Authority directly
Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB)
Victim Support Helpline
Tel: 0845 3030 900
Tel: 0800 1111