Guildford Rowing Club is committed to providing a caring and friendly setting for all members so they can train in a safe and secure environment. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable
If bullying does occur, all rowers, or parents/guardians of rowers, should be confident that incidents will be reported and dealt with promptly and effectively.
GRC is a telling club – anyone who becomes aware that bullying is taking place is expected to tell the Club Welfare Officer, any committee member, or in the case of a junior member, any responsible adult or coach.
What is bullying
There is no legal definition of bullying. However, it is usually defined as behaviour that is repeated and intended to hurt someone either physically or emotionally. Bullying can take many forms and can include:
Social bullying such as teasing
Cyberbullying – via social networks, chat rooms, or anywhere online. May include abusive comments, sharing images without consent, hacking, spreading malicious rumours or pressuring someone to do something they don’t want to do.
Bullying is NOT the same as banter. Banter can be a mutually enjoyable ice breaker or release from stress in the sporting context. The term “banter” is sometimes used as an excuse for socially unacceptable behaviour, language and bullying.
Bullying hurts and no one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect. Rowers who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.
Aim of Policy
The club has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to incidence of bullying
All committee members, coaches, rowers and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is and what they should do if bullying occurs.
All committee members and coaches should know what the club policy is on bullying and follow it when bullying is reported
As a club we take bullying seriously. Rowers and parents should be assured that they will be supported and treated fairly if bullying is reported, whether they are the victim or alleged bully. Bullying will not be tolerated.
Signs and symptoms of bullying in children
A child many 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becomes withdrawn, anxious or lacking confidence
Feels ill before training sessions
Comes home with clothes torn or possessions damaged
Had 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 :
Cries themselves to sleep or has nightmares
Becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
Is bullying other children or siblings
Attempts or threatens self-harm or suicide or runs away
These signs and behaviours may indicate other problems, but bullying must be considered a possibility and should be investigated
Procedures and club actions
All reports of bullying along with supporting evidence, whether it concerns a junior or and adult, should be passed to the Club Welfare Officer (CWO).
In cases of serious bullying, advice can be sought from BR (g[email protected]) and incidents can be reported to BR.
Where bullying concerns children or adults at risk, the CWO should follow safeguarding procedures.
Parents should be informed and will be asked to attend a meeting to discuss the problem. If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted.
An attempt will be made to help the bully/bullies change their behaviour. Reconciliation by bringing parties together – a genuine apology may solve the problem. If further action is required :
A panel comprising Club Chair, CWO, Club Secretary or other committee member should meet with the parent and the child alleging bullying to obtain details of the allegation. Minutes should be taken for clarity and agreed to present a true account.
The same panel should meet with the alleged bully and parent/s and put incident details to them to obtain their views regarding the allegation. Minutes should be taken and agreed by those present.
If bullying has, in the view of the panel, taken place, the bully should be warned and put on notice of further action which may include temporary or permanent suspension of Club membership. This action may be reviewed if the bullying continues. Consideration should be given as the whether a reconciliation meeting is appropriate at this time.
In some cases the parent/guardian of the bully or bullied rower may be asked to attend training sessions in order to observe proceedings. The Club panel should monitor the situation for a given period to ensure bullying is not continuing.
All coaches involved with the parties should eb made aware of the allegations and the decisions of the Club panel.
If mediation fails and bullying is seen to continue, the Club will initiate disciplinary action as per the complaints/disciplinary procedure.
In the case of adults reported to be bullying rowers under 18 :
British Rowing should always be informed and will advise on action to be taken
In the case where an allegation regarding teacher or coach is made and proved, additional child awareness training may be required
More serious cases maybe referred to the police, social services or British Rowing. Additional disciplinary procedures maybe discussed.
In the case where a coach or teacher whom is employed by an outside organisation is implicated the matter should be referred to British Rowing and to the person’s line manager or as detailed in that person’s employment contract.
Where bullying is between adults, this is a breach of the Code of Conduct and will be addressed within the GRC complaints/disciplinary procedures.
Cases of bullying should be resolved quickly, and where possible the guidelines to timescales of the British Rowing Safeguarding and Protecting Children policy should be adhered to,
The club will have a written constitution which includes reference to what is acceptable and proper behaviour for all members (Code of Conduct), of which the anti-bullying policy is one part.
All rowers and parents sign a membership application form indicting to accept and abide by the guidelines in the Code of Conduct upon joining the club and on an annua basis upon membership renewal.
The CWO raises awareness about bullying and why it matters, and if issues of bullying arise in the club, will consider meeting rowers to discuss the issue openly and constrictively.
Our core guidances can be found below.