Guildelines for Interacting with Children

These guidelines are for coaches, team managers and other personnel to protect them from risk and to keep children safe. 
Maintain appropriate boundaries
Coaches, team managers and other personnel in positions of authority should maintain clear:
Physical boundaries
  • Use drills to develop fitness, not as a punishment
  • Only use physical contact that is appropriate for the development of a particular skill and has the permission of the athlete
  • Work within sight of others at all times
 Emotional boundaries
  • Use positive feedback on performance, not negative feedback about the person
  • Be encouraging and avoid put-downs
 Social boundaries
  • Attend sport related events such as sponsorship and fundraising events, celebrations and annual meetings but do not socialise with athletes outside sporting functions
  • Do not socialise with athletes via social media
 Sexual boundaries
  • Do not have sexual relationships with athletes you are coaching
  • Do not touch athletes in ways likely to make them feel uncomfortable
Minimise physical contact
Generally, physical contact with players or participants should be to:
  • Develop sport skills
  • Give sports massage
  • Treat an injury
  • Prevent or respond to an injury
  • Meet the specific requirements of the sport
 All physical contact by personnel should fulfil the following criteria:
  • Physical contact should be appropriate for the development of a sport skill/s
  • Permission form the player or participant should always be sought
  • Players or participants should be congratulated or comforted in public not in an isolated setting
 Avoid being alone with a child
To protect yourself and the child from risk:
  • Do not isolate yourself and a child and avoid being alone with any particular child
  • If a child approaches you and wants to talk to you privately about a matter, do so in an open area and in sight of other adults (e.g. other coaches, officials or parents/guardians)
  • Before going into change rooms knock or announce that you will be coming in. Try to have at least one adult with you in a change room with children