|23rd October 2022
|Approved at AGM:
|6th July 2023
Statement of Intent
We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our members so they can participate in football in a relaxed and secure atmosphere.
The application to join Coton FC or the appointment of the Club as an official or representative requires acceptance of the Club’s expectations on behaviour which includes the Club’s policy to bullying. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our club.
If bullying does occur, all club members or parents should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. This means that anyone who knows or suspects that bullying is happening is expected to tell the Club Welfare Officer or any club representative and for the allegation to be taken seriously.
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 football boots/shin guards, 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 sexuality
- Verbal name – calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
Signs and Indicators
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 he or she 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- becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence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 training equipment damaged
- has possessions go “missing”
- asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay the 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
- attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
These signs and behaviours may indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.
- Report bullying incidents to the Club Welfare Officer or a member of the Club’s committee or contact the Cambridgeshire Football Association (CFA) Child Protection Officer (CPO) – see Welfare page for their contact details.
- In cases of serious bullying involving Juniors, the incidents will be referred to the CFA CPO for advice and the Club will follow their guidance on next steps and possible escalation to other agencies (eg police or social services).
- Parents should be informed as soon as possible.
Recommended club action
If the club decides it is appropriate for them to deal with the situation, the club will follow the procedure outlined below.
- The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be taken seriously and investigated immediately
- Reconciliation by getting the parties together. It may be that a genuine apology solves the problem.
- If this fails or is not appropriate, a small panel (made up from Chairman, Club Welfare Officer, and appropriate committee members) should meet with the parent(s) and child / children (as appropriate) alleging bullying to understand the details of the allegation. Minutes should be taken.
- The panel should meet with the alleged bully / bullies (and the relevant parent/s if the alleged bully is a junior) to investigate the incident(s). Minutes should again be taken.
- The panel should evaluate the evidence and determine the appropriate action. The club will seek guidance from the CFA and follow its advice.
- If it is determined that bullying has taken place, appropriate action will be taken, such as a warning, temporary or permanent suspension from club activities and receiving suitable training.
- Coaches and officers of the club may be informed (strictly on a need-to-know basis) in order to monitor future behaviour.
In the case of adults reported to be bullying anyone within the club under 18
- The CFA CPO should always be informed and will advise on action to be taken.
- It is anticipated that in cases where the allegation is made regarding a team manager, official or coach, The FA’s child protection and best practice awareness training may be recommended.
- More serious cases may be referred to the police, social services or judicial complaints procedure.
Contact Details for the Club’s Welfare Officer
Please the Welfare page.