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Rush Golf Club Safeguarding Policy


Download the Policy and related forms here

The guidelines in this document are based on the national guidelines as outlined in the following documents:

  • Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport, Sports Ireland (SI)


Clubs and organisations reference should also be made to


  • Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children, Dept. of Health & Children 1999, revised 2009 and again in 2011 by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs

  • Our Duty to Care, Dept. of Health & Children 2002


  • National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016


  • Children First Act 2015

Core Values in Sport for juniors

Junior golf is based on the following principles that will guide the development of juniors within golf, (as outlined in page 9, Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children's Sport). A junior’s experience of sport should be guided by what is best for the junior. The stages of development and the ability of the junior should guide the types of activity provided within the club/organisation. Adults will need to have a basic understanding of the needs of juniors, including physical, emotional and personal well-being.


Integrity in relationships:

Adults interacting with juniors in sport should do so with integrity and respect for the child. There is a danger that sporting contexts can be used to exploit or undermine children. All adult actions in sport should be guided by what is

best for the junior and in the context of quality, open working relationships. Verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse

of any kind is unacceptable within sport.


Quality atmosphere and ethos

Sport for juniors should be conducted in a safe, positive and encouraging atmosphere. A child-centred ethos will contribute to a safe and enjoyable atmosphere within the organisation.



All children should be treated in an equitable and fair manner regardless of age, ability, sex, race, religion or belief, gender reassignment, social and ethnic background or political persuasion. Children with disabilities should be involved in sports activities in an integrated way, thus allowing them to participate to their potential alongside other juniors.


Equality Statement

Rush Golf Club is committed to the principle of equality of opportunity. Rush Golf Club aims to ensure that all present and potential participants, members, instructors, coaches, competitors, officials, volunteers and employees are treated fairly and on an equal basis, irrespective of sex, age, disability, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, gender reassignment or social status.


Fair Play:

Fair play is the guiding principle of the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children's Sport. All sport for juniors should be conducted in an atmosphere of fair play. Ireland has contributed and is committed to the European Code of Sports

Ethics, which defines fair play as: “much more than playing within the rules”. It incorporates the concepts of friendship, respect for others and always playing with the right spirit. Fair play is defined as a way of thinking, not just behaving. It incorporates issues concerned with the elimination of opportunities, excessive commercialisation and corruption. (European Sports Charter and Code of Ethics, Council of Europe, 1993).



A balanced approach to competition can make a significant contribution to the development of juniors, while at the same time providing fun, enjoyment and satisfaction. However, competitive demands are often placed on children too early, which results in excessive levels of pressure on them. This can contribute to a high level of drop out from sport. Rush Golf Club Leaders should aim to put the welfare of the young person first and competitive standards second. A child-centred approach will help to ensure that competition and specialisation are kept in their appropriate place.

Policy Statement


Rush Golf Club is fully committed to safeguarding the wellbeing of their members. Every individual in golf should at all times, show respect and understanding for member’s rights, safety and welfare and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of the organisation and the guidelines contained in the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport and Golf’s Safeguarding Policy.


In working with young people in golf our first priority is the welfare of the young people and we are committed to providing an environment that will allow participants to perform to the best of their ability, free from bullying and intimidation.

Disciplinary, Complaints & Appeals Procedure for Rush Golf Club


Non-safeguarding concerns may be dealt with under the ‘complaints’ rule contained within rule 11.1 Rush Golf Club Constitution.


  1. All complaints must be made to the Honorary Secretary, in writing, who, if unable to resolve the complaint, will submit same to the Management Committee and their decision thereon shall be final.



If any complaints require future investigation, to deem if any disciplinary action is required, Rule 7.5 Rush Golf Club Constitution is to be used. This rule also covers the appeals procedure.



Should the conduct of a member of any category of membership either in the Club or elsewhere be deemed to be injurious to the good name, character or interest of the Club, a Sub-Committee of the Management Committee comprising the President, Captain, Lady Captain and Hon. Secretary shall call upon such member to give an explanation either orally or in writing for any such conduct.  If any such member, having been called upon, fails to give such explanation or explanation so given shall be deemed to be insufficient, the Sub-Committee may suspend such member for a definite stated period of the use of the Course, Clubhouse and privileges of the Club, or request such a member to resign and on resignation the un-expired portion of his/her annual subscription shall be refunded.  Should the member fail to resign, he/she shall stand suspended sine die.  In that event a refund of the un-expired portion of his/her annual subscription shall not be entertained.  An appeal against the decision or ruling of this Sub-Committee under this Rule, may be taken by the member concerned to a special meeting of the Management Committee with the exclusion of the Sub-Committee members, which shall be called by the Honorary Secretary for a date not more than one calendar month after receipt of such appeal.



Safeguarding Complaints

The majority of concerns will be poor practice issues and should be dealt with by the club, but for those complaints that cause serious grounds for concern (contact DLP for further advice) the Golf Safeguarding Policy reporting procedures will be followed.

  • Complaints should be received in writing/email by the DLP of Rush Golf Club. (see appendix 11 for contact details)

  • The complaint should outline all relevant details about the parties involved

  • If the complaint involves the possibility of a criminal offence, the DLP will follow the Policy’s reporting procedure. The Statutory Authorities will then be informed

  • The DLP may convene a disciplinary committee (including 3 members involved with junior golf at Rush Golf Club).

  • While maintaining confidentiality the appropriate disciplinary committee with safeguarding knowledge should hear the case of all parties involved and decide if behaviour has breached Rush Golf’s Club Safeguarding Policy.

  • They should, in writing inform those involved of the sanctions to be imposed. Written notification should be given to parents if the complaint is against a junior member

  • Records of poor practice complaints should be kept on file by the Rush Golf Club until the young person concerned becomes a full member within Rush Golf Club.

Recruitment & Supervision Policy for Rush Golf Club Leaders/Volunteers

Rush Golf Club will take all reasonable steps to ensure that adults representing them and working with

Juniors are suitable to do so and are appropriately qualified, experienced and motivated. Recruitment and/or supervision procedures will apply to all persons with substantial access to juniors, whether paid or unpaid. A decision to appoint a Leader is the responsibility of the Management Committee, Rush Golf Club and not of any one individual within it. The relevant committees ratify all recommendations for appointment.


Rush Golf Club will use the following as a suitable recruitment procedure.


  • The responsibilities of the role and the level of experience/qualifications required should be drawn up and clearly stated


  • Once nominated to the position the Leader should be made aware of the code of conduct as it relates to juniors and any related guidelines within this document. This involves newly recruited volunteers and all volunteers assigned by Rush Golf Club for that season. Existing Leaders will sign the appropriate code of conduct, including the self- declaration questions, (see appendix 3). Leaders will also be requested to undergo Garda Vetting.


  • Safeguarding 1 course must be completed, firstly on a face to face basis and then an online refresher course every 3 years until the 9th year which will require the face to face course being completed again.

For those residents in ROI please follow the link below for the online refresher course


  • New Leaders should fill in an information form, giving names of two referees that can be contacted and answering the self-declaration questions. (See appendix 1). For regulated position (i.e. working directly with children) you will also be asked to undergo Garda vetting.


  • Where possible there should be an induction, this can be done in an informal manner with members of the junior committee, perhaps on a junior competition day. Following this, a probationary period is advisable.


  • Adequate supervision should always be provided, a Leader should not have to work alone


Every effort should be made to manage and support appointed Leaders. Coaching courses and workshops will be provided; codes of conduct will be made available and Garda Vetting will be implemented.

Rush Golf Club Anti-Bullying Policy Statement

Bullying can occur between an adult and young person and young person to young person, in either case; it is not acceptable within Rush Golf Club. The competitive nature of golf can create an environment that provides opportunities for bullying.

The bully may be a parent who pushes too hard, a coach who adopts a win-at-all costs philosophy, a young player who intimidates another or an official who places unfair pressure on a person.


Rush Golf Club’s Anti-Bullying Policy and Guidance (appendix 8) applies to all – juniors, adults, parents, coaches and any others who help and assist within golf and golf activities.

Codes of Conduct

The codes of conduct are for junior members, parents and leaders involved in activities organised by Rush Golf Club.


Juniors Code of Conduct

Rush Golf Club wishes to provide the best possible environment for all juniors involved in the sport. Juniors deserve to be given enjoyable, safe sporting opportunities, free of abuse of any kind. These participants have rights, which must be respected, and responsibilities that they must accept. Juniors have responsibilities to treat other participants and Golf Leaders with fairness and respect.


Guidelines for Parents

To help your child have a positive experience remember to:

  • Focus on what your child wants to get out of golf

  • 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

Parents are expected to co-sign their child’s code of conduct form (appendix 4 and the specific parental code of conduct form/guidelines for parent’s appendix 6)

Leaders Code of Conduct

Leaders should familiarise themselves with Rush Golf Club’s Safeguarding Policy, in particular this code of conduct. Leaders should read and agree to abide by these terms. Leaders must complete this Code of Conduct (appendix 3) annually.


Guidelines for Rush Golf Club Leaders (including professional, coach, convenor etc.)

Rush Golf Club recognises the key role leaders (professionals, coaches, convenors, captains, selectors and team managers, etc.) play in the lives of juniors in sport. Leaders in golf should strive to create a positive environment for the children in their care. They have an overall responsibility to take the necessary steps to ensure that positive and healthy experiences are provided. All Leaders should have as their first priority the children’s safety and enjoyment of golf and should adhere to the guidelines and regulations set out in the Rush Golf Club’s Safeguarding Policy.


Leaders should respect the rights, dignity and worth of every junior and must treat everyone equally, regardless of gender reassignment, age, sex, race, ability, religion or belief, social and ethnic background or political persuasion etc.


Leaders working with juniors in golf should have the appropriate experience or hold the necessary qualifications. Leaders will be expected to go through an appropriate recruitment and a selection procedure, whether paid or unpaid. Vetting checks must be undertaken to comply with legislation, Garda Vetting should be successfully completed every 3 years for all those working with or in contact with juniors on a regular and continuous basis.


There will be a ‘sign-up’ procedure, whereby the appointed/reappointed leaders agree to abide by Rush Golf Club’s Safeguarding Policy.  The Leaders Code of Conduct must be completed annually. You should know and understand the junior protection policies and procedures in Rush Golf Club’s Safeguarding Policy.


Once appointed the Leader should act as a role model and promote the positive aspects of golf and maintain the highest standards of personal conduct. Leaders should develop an appropriate relationship with juniors, based on mutual trust and respect. Remember your behaviour to players, other officials, and opponents will influence the players in your care. You should report any concerns you have to the CCO & DLP of Rush Golf Club.

Being a role model

  • You will be required to display high standards of language, manner, punctuality, preparation and presentation

  • Ensure that players in your care respect the rules of the game. Insist on fair play and ensure players are aware you will not tolerate cheating or bullying behaviour

  • Encourage the development of respect for opponents, officials, selectors and other leaders and avoid criticism of fellow professionals and coaches. Do not criticise other leaders

  • The use of illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco must be actively discouraged as they are incompatible with a healthy approach to sporting activity. Leaders should avoid the use of alcohol and illegal substances before coaching, during events, while supervising trips with juniors and providing a duty of care


Reducing Risk

It is important that leaders build a good working relationship with juniors they are coaching but ensure this relationship remains professional and in accordance with Rush Golf Club’s Safeguarding Policy and the Leaders Code of Conduct. (Appendix 3)

  • Leaders are responsible for setting and clearly stating the boundaries between a working relationship and friendship with players.  It is advisable for leaders not to involve juniors in their personal life i.e. visits to leaders’ homes to ensure that they reduce the risk of their behaviour being misinterpreted by the participant or others

  • Avoid working alone and ensure there is adequate supervision for all activities

  • Where possible work in an open environment and ensure that physical contact is appropriate and has the permission or understanding of the junior

  • Care must be taken not to expose a junior intentionally or unintentionally to embarrassment or disparagement by use of sarcastic or flippant remarks about the junior or his/her family

  • Physical punishment or physical force must never be used. Never punish a mistake - by verbal means, physical means, or by exclusion


A positive environment

  • Be generous with praise and never ridicule or shout at players for making mistakes or for losing a game. All juniors are entitled to respect.

  • Be careful to avoid the “star system”. Each junior deserves equal time and attention

  • Remember that juniors play for fun, enjoyment and competition. Never make winning the only objective

  • Set realistic goals for the participants and do not push juniors. Create a safe and enjoyable environment

  • When approached to take on a new player, ensure that any previous coach- participant relationship has been ended in a professional manner

  • When juniors are invited into adult groups/squads, it is advisable to get agreement from a parent/guardian.


Boundaries of behaviour in adult groups are normally different from the boundaries that apply to junior groups/squads

  • Leaders who become aware of a conflict between their obligation to their players and their obligation to the club/organisation must make explicit to all parties concerned the nature of the conflict and the loyalties and responsibilities involved

  • Leaders should communicate and co-operate with medical and ancillary practitioners in the diagnosis, treatment and management of their players’ medical or related problems. Avoid giving advice of a personal or medical nature if you are not qualified to do so. Any information of a personal or medical nature must be kept strictly confidential unless the welfare of the junior requires the passing on of this information

  • The nature of the relationship between leader and a participant can often mean that a leader will learn confidential information about a player or player’s family. This information must be regarded as confidential and, except where abuse is suspected, must not be divulged to a third party without the express permission of the player/family

Photographic Image Guidelines

Rush Golf Club has adopted guidelines (appendix 9) for consideration in relation to the use of images of athletes on their websites and in other publications as part of its commitment to providing a safe environment to juniors. Rush Golf Club will take all necessary steps to ensure that juniors are protected from the inappropriate use of their images in resource and media publications, on the internet and elsewhere.


This guidance is for anyone with responsibility for the publication of official photography (including videos) of children involved in golfing activities or events.


Rush Golf Club benefits from using images of young participants to promote and celebrate activities, events and competitions. Parents and children generally welcome opportunities to celebrate or publicise their achievements. Some leaders/ coaches may want to use photographs or videos as a tool to support a young athlete’s skill development.


However, the use of photos and videos on websites and social media, and in posters, the press or other publications, can pose direct and indirect risks to children and young people if not managed correctly.


Clubs wishing to use or permit the use of images of children involved in their activities must therefore follow the good practice guidelines outlined in appendix 9 to safeguard children.


What are the risks?

  • Children may be identified, located, groomed or contacted

  • Taking or producing inappropriate or illegal images of children


Video recording as a coaching aid: Video equipment can be used as legitimate coaching aid. However, permission should first be obtained from the player and the player’s parent.


Anyone concerned about any photography taking place at events or training sessions can contact the Club Children’s Officer & DLP and ask them to deal with the matter.

General Guidelines with Juniors



There is extra responsibility taken on by leaders when they travel with juniors to events. When travelling with juniors you should:

  • Inform parents who will be transporting their child, why and how long the journey will take.

  • Attempt to have more than one child in the car.

  • Alternate drivers if possible and which child is dropped off last.

  • Ensure the driver has a point of contact/mobile phone.

  • Have a person other than the planned driver talk to the child about transport arrangements to check they are comfortable about the plans.

  • Ensure that they have insurance to carry others.

  • Consider the need for booster seats.

  • Parents and coaches can also download Sport Ireland’s Safeguarding App. -Of-Ethics-App/ and one of the features of the App is a ‘Travel Tracker’ function. This allows parents and coaches who are driving someone else’s child/children home for example after a training session, to permit the child’s parent or guardian to view and have oversight of their journey.


  • Make sure there is an adequate adult: child ratio. This will depend on the nature of the activity, the age of the participants and any special needs of the group. As a guide a ratio of 1:8 for under 12 years of age and 1:10 for participants over 12 years of age. This is only a guide and will change depending on the circumstances, e.g. players with special needs or away trips

  • Where there are mixed groups there should be leaders of both genders

  • Avoid being alone with one participant, if you need to talk separately do so in an open environment, in view of others

  • Leaders should not need to enter the changing rooms unless juniors are very young or need special assistance, where supervision should be in pairs of appropriate gender

  • Clearly state time for start and end of training sessions or competitions, leaders should remain in pairs until all participants have been collected

  • Keep attendance records and records of any incidents / injuries that arise

  • Facilitate parents who wish to stay and supervise sessions, (for safety and supervision, not necessarily for their

‘technical’ expertise)

Away trips / Overnight stays

  • Separate permission forms should be signed by parents and participants, containing emergency contact number and any other relevant information.

  • Young participants should sign a Code of Conduct agreement

  • Appoint a group leader who will make a report on returning home to the Club committee who organised the trip

  • A meeting with parents and participants is useful to communicate travel times, competition details, other activities, gear requirements, medical requirements, special dietary needs and any other necessary details

  • Rooming arrangements – adults should not share rooms with juniors. Juniors should share rooms with those of same age and gender and adults should knock before entering rooms

  • All group socialisation should take place in communal areas (i.e. no boys in girls’ rooms and vice versa)

  • Alcohol, smoking or any illegal substances are not permitted to players

  • There must be at least one adult of each gender with a mixed party, there should be a good adult – child ratio, 1:5/6

  • Lights out times should be enforced

  • Juniors should be under reasonable supervision at all times and should never leave the venue or go unsupervised without prior permission



All clubs / organisations must have a safety statement, including specific risk assessments linked to the activity. They should also have procedures in place for safeguarding against such risks. In addition, clubs / organisations should:

  • Ensure activities are suitable for age and stage of development of participants

  • Keep a record of any specific medical conditions of the participants

  • Keep a record of emergency contact numbers for parents / guardians

  • Ensure any necessary protective gear is used

  • Ensure First Aid kit is close at hand with access to qualified first-aider

  • Know the contact numbers of emergency services

  • Keep first aid kit appropriately stocked

  • Ensure easy access to medical personnel if needed and have an emergency plan

  • If an incident occurs, make a brief record of injury and action taken. Make a brief record of the

problem/action/outcome. Contact the participant’s parents and keep them informed of all details

  • Officials (convenors and referees, etc.) should ensure the conduct of the game

  • Participants should know and keep the etiquette guidelines of golf, keeping in mind that many rules are there for safety

  • Leaders should hold appropriate qualifications required by the governing body

  • Ensure there is adequate insurance cover for all activities

  • Ensure parents / guardians are present at finishing time of sessions or events


Physical Contact

Golf on occasion requires a ‘hands on approach’, especially in a teaching or coaching situation, e.g., it may be necessary to assist a junior when learning how to grip the club for the first time but the following should be taken into consideration

  • Avoid unnecessary physical contact

  • Any necessary contact should be in response to the needs of the junior and not the adult

  • It should be in an open environment with the permission and understanding of the participant and parent/guardian.

  • It should be determined by the age and developmental stage of the participant - Don’t do something that a child can do for themselves

  • Never engage in inappropriate touching


Late Collection

It is important to have some clear and easy guidelines if a parent is late to collect a junior, such as, contact the parent using the emergency contact number. If there is no answer, ask the junior if there is another family member to contact. Wait with the junior at the club or venue, preferably with other staff or volunteers. Remind parents of the policy in relation to good practice and supervision.


Adults and Juniors playing together

One of the reasons for the popularity of golf is that the game is not restricted either competitively or socially by skill, age or gender. Golf can be enjoyed and keenly contested by players from and between any number and/or apparently diverse groups. That this diversity, almost unique to golf, is encouraged is essential to ensure the continuity of one of the most endearing traditions of the game. Every effort must be made to promote this mix of physical and technical ability.

Responsible interaction between adults and juniors helps bring mutual respect and understanding and helps the standards of the club to be understood and maintained. Nevertheless, when playing golf with a junior, adults should always be aware that certain age-related differences do exist and should conduct themselves in a manner that recognises this.


Juniors playing on the course without adults

Golf courses may have a number of unmanned access and egress points which limit the control of juniors playing alone or with another junior, but this in itself should not preclude the club from attempting to minimise potential problems involving juniors playing together. Golf clubs should endeavour to have procedures in place for juniors to register in and out when using the golf club. This is to help ensure that they are aware when juniors are playing or on club premises.

If possible, it is advisable to have some method for juniors playing on their own or with another junior to sign in and out. If it is not practicable to hold a register, then at least permission should be gained from parents for their children to be on the club’s premises by including this in their Code of Conduct. (Appendix 4)

The organisation is not responsible for providing adult supervision of juniors, except for formal junior golf coaching, matches or competitions


Changing Rooms

As golf clubs are seen as a recreational facility, members, visitors and juniors are entitled to the use of the changing rooms, this means that often people of all ages regularly need to change and shower during the same period.


Therefore, the following guidance in relation to adults and juniors using the changing rooms should be followed:

  • Adults should exercise care when in the changing rooms at the same time as juniors

  • Parents/guardians should be made aware that adults and juniors may need to share the changing facility.  The parent/guardian should discuss this with their child ensuring their child is aware of who to talk to if any issues arise in unsupervised areas.

  • Parents can choose to supervise their child while they change.

  • If juniors are uncomfortable changing or showering in public, no pressure should be placed on them.  Encourage them to do this at home.


Mobile Phones

Young people value their mobile phones as it gives them a sense of independence and they can often be given to young people for security to enable parents to keep in touch. However, technology has given direct personal contact between adults and juniors and in some cases adults have used this to cross personal boundaries placing themselves and young people at risk. The following guidelines should be followed:

As a Leader

  • Use group texts for communication among players and teams and inform parents of this at the start of the season, tournament or event.

  • It is not appropriate or acceptable to have constant contact with an individual athlete.

  • Don’t use your phone in inappropriate locations, such as changing rooms, especially if your phone has a camera.

  • Do not send messages late at night

  • Remember the principles of the Leaders Code of Conduct apply to social media communication as well and consider your digital footprint before posting.


As a Junior golfer

  • If you receive an offensive message, email or photo don’t reply to it, save it, make note of times and dates and tell a parent, children’s officer or responsible adult you trust.

  • Be careful about whom you give your number or email address to and don’t respond to unfamiliar numbers.

  • Don’t use your phone in inappropriate locations, such as changing rooms, especially if your phone has a camera.

  • Treat your phone as you would any valuable item so that you can guard against theft.

Child Welfare and Protection Procedures

The following are the procedures for dealing with any welfare or protection issue that may arise. Child welfare and the protection of juniors is the concern of all adults at all times, irrespective of their role within the club.


If there are grounds for concern about the safety or welfare of a junior, you should react to the concern. Persons unsure about whether or not certain behaviours are abusive and therefore reportable should contact the duty social worker in the local health services executive or Statutory Authorities department where they will receive advice. Reasonable Grounds for concern

The TUSLA-Health Board should always be informed when there are reasonable grounds for concern that a child may have been abused, or is being abused, or is at risk of abuse. The following examples would constitute reasonable grounds for concern:

  • A specific indication from the child that he or she was abused (disclosure)

  • An account by a person who says the child is being abused

  • Evidence, such as an injury or behaviour, that is consistent with abuse and unlikely to be caused in another way

  • An injury or behaviour that is consistent both with abuse and with an innocent, explanation, but where there are corroborative indicators supporting the concern that it may be a case of abuse e.g. a pattern of injuries, an implausible explanation, and other indications of abuse and/or dysfunctional behaviour

  • Consistent indication, over a period of time that a child is suffering from emotional or physical neglect


A report may be made by any member in the club but should be passed on to the Club’s Children Officer

& DLP, who may in turn have to pass the concern to the local Statutory Authorities. It is not the responsibility of anyone working within Rush Golf Club, in a paid or voluntary capacity, to take responsibility or decide whether or not child abuse is taking place. That is the job of the local Statutory Authorities. However, there is a responsibility to protect juniors by assisting the appropriate agencies so that they can then make enquiries and take any necessary action to protect the junior.


Everyone should follow both procedures outlined below, firstly the procedure for responding to a junior in distress and secondly the procedure for reporting the concern.

Response to a Child Disclosing Abuse

When a junior discloses information of suspected abuse you should:

  1. Deal with any allegation of abuse in a sensitive and competent way through listening to and facilitating the junior to tell you about the problem, rather than interviewing the junior about details of what happened

  2. Stay calm and don’t show any extreme reaction to what the junior is saying. Listen compassionately, and take what the junior is saying seriously

  3. Understand that the junior has decided to tell something very important and has taken a risk to do so. The experience of telling should be a positive one so that the junior will not mind talking to those involved in the investigation

  4. Be honest with the junior and tell them that it is not possible to keep information a secret but you will maintain confidentiality

  5. Make no judgmental statements against the person whom the allegation is made

  6. Do not question the junior unless the nature of what s/he is saying is unclear. Do not use leading questions.

Open, non-specific questions should be used such as “Can you explain to me what you mean by that”

  1. Check out the concerns with Rush Golf Club DLP and then advise the parents/guardians you are contacting the statutory authorities unless doing so would possibly place the child at any further risk.

  2. Give the junior some indication of what would happen next, such as informing parents/guardians, or Statutory Authorities. It should be kept in mind that the junior may have been threatened and may feel vulnerable at this stage.

  3. Carefully record the details

  1. Pass on this information to the Club’s Children Officer & DLP

  2. Reassure the junior that they have done the right thing in telling you


Reporting Suspected or Disclosed Child Abuse

The following steps should be taken in reporting child abuse to the Statutory Authorities:

  1. Observe and note dates, times, locations and contexts in which the incident occurred or suspicion was aroused, together with any other relevant information

  2. Report the matter as soon as possible to the Club’s Children Officer & DLP of Rush Golf Club who has the responsibility for reporting abuse. If the Club’s Children Officer & DLP has reasonable grounds for believing that the junior has been abused or is at risk of abuse, s/he will make a report to local Statutory Authorities who have statutory responsibility to investigate and assess suspected or actual child abuse.

  3. In cases of emergency, where a junior appears to be at immediate and serious risk and the Club’s Children Officer & DLP is unable to contact a duty social worker, An Garda Síochána should be contacted. Under no circumstances should a junior be left in a dangerous situation pending intervention by the Statutory Authorities

  4. If the Club’s Children Officer & DLP is unsure whether reasonable grounds for concern exist s/he can informally consult with the local health board/Statutory Authorities. S/he will be advised whether or not the matter requires a formal report


The Club’s Children Officer & DLP reporting suspected or actual child abuse to the Statutory Authorities will first inform the family of their intention to make such a report, unless doing so would put the child at further risk or undermine an investigation.


The Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act, 1998 provides immunity from civil liability to persons who report child abuse ‘reasonably and in good faith’ to the Tusla Child and Family Agency or An Garda Síochána. The act also covers the offence of ‘false reporting’.  The main provisions of the Act are:


  1. The provision of immunity from civil liability to any person who reports child abuse “reasonably and in good faith” to designated officers of Tusla Child and Family Agency or any member of An Garda Síochána


  1. The provision of significant protections for employees who report child abuse. These protections cover all employees and all forms of discrimination up to and including, dismissal


  1. The creation of a new offence of false reporting of child abuse where a person makes a report of child abuse to the appropriate authorities “knowing that statement to be false”. This is a new criminal offence designed to protect innocent persons from malicious reports



Allegations against Rush Golf Club Leaders

Rush Golf Club has agreed procedures to be followed in cases of alleged child abuse made against Rush Golf Club Leaders. If such an allegation is made against a Rush Golf Club Leader working within the organisation, two procedures should be followed:

  • The reporting procedure in respect of suspected child abuse (reported by the Club’s Children Officer & DLP), see previous page

  • The procedure for dealing with the Rush Golf Club Leader


The safety of the child making the allegation should be considered and the safety of any other children who may be at risk. The Club will take any necessary steps that may be needed to protect children in its care.


The issue of confidentiality is important. Information is on a need to know basis and the Rush Golf Club Leader should be treated with respect and fairness.


The reporting procedure

If the Club’s Children Officer & DLP has reasonable grounds for concern, the matter should be reported to the Statutory Authorities, following the standard reporting procedure. See appendix 10


The procedure for dealing with Rush Golf Club’s leader

The Club’s Children Officer & DLP makes the report to the Statutory Authorities and seeks advice about how and when to inform the person the allegation is made against.

  • Rush Golf Club, following advice from statutory agencies will inform the Leader that

    1. an allegation has been made against him / her and

    2. The nature of the allegation. He / she should be afforded an opportunity to respond. His / her response should be noted and passed on to the Statutory Authorities

  • The Leader may be asked to step aside pending the outcome of the investigation. When a person is asked to step aside it should be made clear that it is only a precautionary measure and will not prejudice any later disciplinary proceedings


Disciplinary action on the Leader should be considered but only if this does not interfere with the investigation of the Statutory Authorities. It is important to consider the outcome of the investigation and any implications it might have. The fact that someone an allegation has been made against has not been prosecuted or been found guilty does not automatically mean that they are appropriate to work with juniors in the future.


Irrespective of the findings of the Statutory Authorities, the Management Committee Rush Golf Club will assess all individual cases to decide whether a member of staff or volunteer should be reinstated and if so how this can be sensitively handled. The welfare of the junior should remain of paramount importance throughout. Rush Golf Club may need to disclose information to ensure the protection of juniors in its care.



Confidentiality should be maintained in respect of all issues and people involved in cases of abuse, welfare or poor practice.

It is important that the rights of both the junior and the person about whom the complaint has been made are protected. The following points should be kept in mind:

  • A guarantee of secrecy cannot be given, as the welfare of the junior will supersede all other considerations but confidentiality will be maintained.

  • All information should be treated in a careful and sensitive manner and should be discussed only with those who need to know

  • Information should be conveyed to the parents / guardians of the child in a sensitive way following consultation with Rush Golf Club DLP and statutory agencies

  • Giving information to others on a ‘need to know’ basis for the protection of a junior is not a breach of confidentiality

  • All persons involved in a child protection process (the child, his/her parents/guardians, the alleged offender, his/her family, Leaders) should be afforded appropriate respect, fairness, support and confidentiality at all stages of the procedure

  • Information should be stored in a secure place, with limited access only to designated people and/or the Club’s

Children Officer& DLP

  • The requirements of the Data Protection laws should be adhered to

  • Breach of confidentiality is a serious matter


Anonymous Complaints

Anonymous complaints can be difficult to deal with but should not be ignored. In all cases the safety and welfare of the junior/juniors is paramount. Any such complaints relating to inappropriate behaviour should be brought to the attention of the Club’s Children Officer & DLP. The information should be checked out and handled in a confidential manner.



Rumours should not be allowed to hang in the air. Any rumours relating to inappropriate behaviour should be brought to

the attention of the Club’s Children Officer & DLP and checked out without delay.

Rush Golf Club, Leaders Code of Conduct

Leaders should familiarise themselves with Rush Golf Club’s Safeguarding Policy, in particular this code of conduct. Leaders should read and agree to abide by these terms. Leaders must complete this Code of Conduct annually.


As a leader in golf at Rush Golf Club I agree that I should:

  • Be positive during sessions and competitions, praise and encourage effort as well as results

  • Put the welfare of young person first, strike a balance between this and winning / results

  • Encourage fair play and treat participants equally

  • Recognise developmental needs, ensuring activities are appropriate for the individual

  • Plan and prepare appropriately

  • Have experience relevant to working with juniors or hold up-to-date qualifications and be committed to the guidelines in the Safeguarding Policy

  • Involve parents where possible and inform parents of progress as well as when problems arise

  • Keep a record of attendance at training and competitions

  • Keep a brief record of injury(s) and action taken

  • Keep a brief record of problem/action/outcomes, if behavioural problems arise

  • Report any concerns in accordance with this Code’s reporting procedures


Where possible I will avoid:

  • Spending excessive amounts of time with children away from others

  • Taking sessions alone

  • Taking children to my home

  • Taking children on journeys alone in my car


Sports Leaders should not:

  • Use any form of physical punishment or physical force on a child

  • Use any form of abusive language

  • Exert undue influence over a participant in order to obtain personal benefit or reward

  • Engage in rough physical games, sexually provocative games or allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any kind, and /or make sexually suggestive comments about, or to a child. This includes innuendo, flirting or inappropriate gestures and terms

  • Take measurements or engage in certain types of fitness testing without the presence of another adult

  • Undertake any form of therapy (hypnosis etc.) in the training of children


Communication with Parents

To continue to ensure a child reaches their full potential and enjoys their time at the club officials/coaches need to encourage parents to consider;

  • What do they want their child to get out of golf?  Is it the same as what the parent wants?

  • Does the parent understand what their child is trying to achieve and what support they need to achieve it?

  • Is the parent being the best role model they can be to help their child enjoy their golfing experience?

  • Is the parent focused on their child’s development and enjoyment?


Emergency Action/First Aid

All officials/coaches, leaders working directly with juniors 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

Code of Conduct for Rush Golf Club Juniors

Rush Golf club wishes to provide the best possible environment for all juniors involved in the sport. Juniors deserve to be given enjoyable, safe sporting opportunities, free of abuse of any kind. These participants have rights, which must be respected and responsibilities that they must accept. Juniors should be encouraged to realise that they have responsibilities to treat other participants and Rush Golf Club Leaders with fairness and respect.


Juniors are entitled to:

  • Be safe and to feel safe

  • Be listened to and believed

  • Have fun and enjoy golf

  • Have a voice in relation to their activities within golf

  • Be treated with dignity, sensitivity and respect

  • Participate on an equitable and fair manner, regardless of gender, appearance, age, ability, religion or belief, disability, social and ethnic background or political persuasion etc.

  • Experience competition at a level at which they feel comfortable

  • Make complaints and have them dealt with

  • Be safe from risk of bullying behaviour

  • Say No to things that make them feel unsafe

  • Privacy and Confidentiality


Juniors should always:

  • Give their friends a second chance

  • Treat Rush Golf Club Leaders with respect, (including professionals, coaches, convenors, club officials, etc.)

  • Look out for themselves and the welfare of others

  • Play fairly at all times, do their best

  • Be organised and on time, tell someone if you are leaving a venue or competition

  • Respect team members, even when things go wrong

  • Respect opponents, be gracious in defeat

  • Abide by the rules set down by team managers when travelling to away events, representing the club, school, province or country, etc.

  • Behave in a manner that avoids bringing golf into disrepute

  • Talk to the Children’s Officer within the club if they have any problems


Juniors should never:

  • Cheat

  • Use violence or engage in irresponsible, abusive, inappropriate or illegal behaviour

  • Shout or argue with officials, team mates or opponents

  • Harm team members, opponents or their property

  • Bully or use bullying tactics to isolate another player or gain advantage

  • Take banned substances, drink alcohol, smoke or engage inappropriate sexual behaviour

  • Keep secrets, that may leave them or others at risk

  • Tell lies about adults / juniors or spread rumours

  • Discriminate against other players on the basis of gender, appearance, age, ability, religion or belief, disability, social and ethnic background or political persuasion

Guidelines for Parents/Guardian

As a parent/guardian of a junior member, we would encourage you to consider the following messages as Rush Golf Club wants to help you continue supporting your child to reach their full potential and enjoy their time within golf, therefore please

To help your child have a positive experience remember to:

  • Focus on what your child wants to get out of golf

  • 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/organisation


Parents are expected to co-sign their child’s code of conduct form and this specific parental expectation form.


Rush Golf Club believes that parents should:

  • Be a role model for your child and maintain the highest standards of conduct when interacting with juniors, other parents, officials and organizers.

  • Always behave responsibly and do not seek to unfairly affect a player or the outcome of the game

  • Never intentionally expose any junior to embarrassment or disparagement using flippant or sarcastic remarks.

  • Always recognize the value and importance of the officials and volunteers who provide sporting and recreational opportunities for your child. Do not publicly question the judgement or honesty of referees, coaches or organisers. Respect convenors, professionals, coaches, referees, organisers and other players. Parents are welcome to attend events and coaching sessions but should not interfere with the coach or professional while working with the player.

  • Encourage your child to play by the rules. Teach your child that honest endeavour is as important as winning and do all you can to encourage good sportsmanship.

  • Set a good example by applauding good play. Encourage mutual respect for teammates and opponents.

  • Parents should support all efforts to remove abusive behaviour and bullying behaviour in all its forms. Please refer to Anti-bullying policy guidance (appendix 8)

  • Respect;

    • The rules and procedures set down by Rush Golf Club.

    • My child’s teammates and leaders as well as players, parents and coaches from opposing teams.

  • I will never demonstrate threatening or abusive behaviour or use foul language.


Any misdemeanours and breach of this code of conduct will be dealt with immediately by a Rush Golf Club official. Persistent concerns or breaches will result in the parent/guardian being asked not to attend competitions if their attendance is detrimental to the child’s welfare.

Rush Golf Club Anti-Bullying Policy and Guidance


What is Bullying Behaviour?

Bullying behaviour can be defined as unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.


Types of Bullying Behaviour

Bullying behaviour exists in many different forms, some are not as obvious as others, but are just as damaging to the victim. Listed below are some of the more common types of bullying, one or more method may be used by the person displaying bullying behaviour.



Physical bullying includes any physical contact that would hurt or injure a person like pushing, hitting, kicking, punching, tripping, etc.

Physical bullying can put the person experiencing bullying behaviour at risk of injury and makes them feel powerless. Taking something that belongs to someone else and destroying it would also be considered a type of physical bullying.



Verbal bullying usually takes the form of name-calling or making nasty remarks or jokes about a person's religion, gender, appearance, sexuality, ethnicity, socio-economic status, or the way they look. It can also include freezing the victim out by exclusion or spreading rumours.



Making threats against a person or their property is also a type of bullying. It can be a threat to damage or take something belonging to the victim or to hurt them physically. Often the threat is not actually carried out, but the fear created by the threat can be enough to upset the person experiencing bullying behaviour.



Cyber bullying is done by sending messages, pictures, or information using electronic media, computers (email & instant messages), mobile phones (text messaging & voicemail) and social networking websites. This activity can be upsetting and harmful to the person targeted. This type of bullying can allow the person who is displaying bullying behaviour to hide their identity which may have a bigger impact on the person experiencing bullying behaviour.



Homophobic bullying is motivated by prejudice against a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity- lesbians, gay males, bisexual, transsexual, or transgender people.



Racist bullying is motivated by prejudice against a person’s skin colour, cultural or religious background or ethnic origin.


The Impact of Bullying behaviour

The damage inflicted by bullying behaviour can frequently be underestimated. It can cause considerable distress to juniors, to the extent it effects their health and development, or at the extreme, causes them significant harm.


Recognising Bullying Behaviour

There are a number of signs that may indicate a person is being bullied:

  • Reluctance to come to a venue or take part in activities

  • Physical signs (unexplained bruises, scratches, or damage to belongings)

  • Stress-caused illness – headaches, and stomach aches which seem unexplained

  • Fearful behaviour (fear of walking to a meeting, going different routes, asking to be driven)

  • Frequent loss of, or shortage of, money with vague explanations

  • Having few friends or drop out of newer members

  • Changes in behaviour (withdrawn, stammering, moody, irritable, upset, distressed, not eating, reduced concentration, drop in performance)

  • Anxiety (shown by nail-biting, fearfulness, tics)


This list is not exhaustive and there are other possible reasons for many of the above. The presence of one or more of these indicators is not proof that bullying is actually taking place


How to prevent Bullying Behaviour

  • Ensure that all members follow the Code of Conduct, which promotes the rights and dignity of each member

  • Deal with any incidents as soon as they arise

  • Use a whole group policy or ‘no-blame approach’, i.e. working with person(s) displaying the bullying behaviour and the group of juniors, helping them to understand the hurt they are causing, and so make the problem a ‘shared concern’ of the group

  • Encourage juniors to negotiate, co-operate and help others, particularly new or children with specific needs

  • Offer the person experiencing bullying behaviour immediate support and put the ‘no blame approach’ into operation

  • Never tell a young person to ignore bullying, they can’t ignore it, it hurts too much

  • Never encourage a young person to take the law into their own hands and beat the person(s) displaying the bullying behaviour at his/her own game

  • Reassure the person experiencing bullying behaviour they have done nothing wrong. Reinforce that there is ‘a right to tell’ culture within the club


Who should deal with bullying?

While the more extreme forms of bullying would be regarded as physical or emotional abuse and are reported to the Statutory Authorities, dealing with bullying behaviour is normally the responsibility of all Leaders within Rush Golf Club. You should also liaise with the Club’s Children Officer & DLP.


Using the NO BLAME Approach

The NO BLAME approach seeks to find a resolution for the young people involved in the bullying behaviour whilst maintaining their relationship within the club or the group.

This is important for young people who often simply want the behaviour to stop, without a need for punishments to be imposed. The NO BLAME approach encourages young people to recognise the impact of their behaviour and then to take responsibility for changing it. By using this approach, a previous relationship between or within a team can often be re-established; this is often a preferred option for the young people involved.


The ethos behind the NO BLAME approach is to:

EXPLAIN the problem, i.e. that someone seems to be unhappy in the club, seems to be picked on etc. and explain how that person is

feeling; this should not accuse anyone.


ASK for ideas as to how to help this person


LEAVE the individuals involved to check how the behaviour has changed


SHARE the responsibility of changing the behaviour and encouraging everyone to speak to a trusted adult if there is bullying behaviour in the club


The NO BLAME approach does not attempt to get ‘confessions’, it seeks to get an acknowledgement of behaviour and provides an opportunity for young people to change hurtful behaviour.


There may be issues that are not resolved through the NO BLAME approach, where behaviour continues.

Bullying behaviour is a breach of a code of conduct and may have to be dealt with through a disciplinary process. However, the

outcome for young people is far better when issues can be resolved through the NO BLAME approach.

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