There we are! Your child absolutely wants to swim in his best friend’s swimming club. What should you consider before signing him up for the season? What questions should you ask the organization to ensure your child’s security and a positive practice of his sport?
Policies and procedures
Does the organization have a prevention policy for the protection of children, displayed and easily accessible?
All sports organizations must provide a child protection policy. This policy must include a clear procedure to manage any situation involving misbehaviour or any risk of abuse (physical, psychological and/or sexual). If such measures do not exist, invite the organization to implement various preventive measures. To learn more, Sport’Aide invites you to go to Sportbienetre.ca.
Does the organization have a code of ethics or a code of conduct displayed and easily accessible?
All organizations must have a code of ethics that its members can refer to at any time. This document – usually found on the organization’s website – contains a code of conduct for the staff members, volunteers, parents, participants and any other person involved in the club. The code of ethics defines the publicly recognized norms of a socially responsible behaviour. For the most part, such norms refer to the respect of the actors surrounding the athletes, including your children and yourself. The codes of ethics convey the essential values that the club intends to respect. Consequently, if a behaviour seems inappropriate to you, you can rely on this document to request that the situation change. If you do not succeed in finding this document, Sport’Aide advises you to request access to it before registering your child in this club or organization.
If you or your child have concerns or questions, who can you contact?
All organizations must have an ethics officer and the officer’s contact information should be displayed and be easily identifiable by all club members. Clearly identified by the organization, the role of this officer is to promote your child’s well-being. In this respect, the officer must be able to inform you or advise you about any concerns that you and/or your child may have while the child is practicing the sport. Sport’Aide advises you to ask the club for the contact information of its ethics officer if you cannot find it on your own.
Is there a charter on the relationship borders to respect between all actors involved in the club?
The club should have a charter of the appropriate relationships to be respected between employees, volunteers, parents and participants. Who can you talk to if you are concerned about a situation you observed?
What is the recommended supervisor/children ratio?
What is the recommended supervisor/children ratio to manage participants and to conduct the chosen sports activities? You can obtain this information from the person in charge of the club’s activities. It is also important that the organization take measures to ensure that no employee or volunteer is ever alone and/or isolated with a young participant.
Does the club ask the parents to sign a form presenting all necessary information on their child’s health?
When you complete your child’s registration, does the organization ask you to complete a medical file that provides all necessary information in case of emergency? This file should include the persons to contact in case of emergency and any information concerning your child’s health (allergies, asthma or any other special condition).
Has the club informed you of the schedule for the next season and the events that your child could participate in during the season?
Before the season begins, the club should provide the schedule for the season and all information concerning travel outside your region (transportation, costs, etc.) and the name of a person to contact in case of emergency.
Recruiting employees and volunteers
Have all employees and volunteers been selected according to a procedure that includes a filtering process?
The recruiting process for employees and volunteers should include interviews, taking references, and an adequate filtering process. You are therefore entitled to know the employee hiring process and question the procedure of club managers.
Are there training sessions to keep up to date the knowledge of coaches and anyone involved with young athletes?
All sports organizations must support and train the actors involved in their organization and see to it that the knowledge of their intervenors is updated regularly so that they can intervene adequately with your child.
Is your child’s coach qualified to conduct a quality workout?
The club’s coach should have proper certification and demonstrate the technical skills to properly conduct the training while respecting your child’s level in the sport. You are entitled to obtain this information on request.
Health and safety
Make sure that your young athlete’s future organization is able to provide first aid to participants (qualification required). In this respect, a first-aid kit and a document to complete in case of minor accidents must be easily accessible where your child practices their sport.
If you have any questions and/or concerns related to your child’s sports practice, contact the intervenors at Sport’Aide.
Sport’Aide also invites you to visit Sportbienetre.ca for more information.