Anti-Bullying Policy

This policy aims to:

• Encourage good relationships between swimmers
• Develop trust between swimmers, coaches and families
• Prevent problems occurring
• Suggest ways of dealing with problems should they arise
• Develop an understanding that developing positive relationships and resolving differences are shared responsibilities between the swimmer, the family and the club.

Definition of Bullying

Bullying can take many forms, but for a swimmer being bullied, it can include:

• Being repeatedly picked on
• Being hit, kicked or threatened with physical violence
• Being subject to nasty or offensive comments
• Not being spoken to

If two swimmers of equal power or strength have an occasional quarrel, this is not bullying.

Strategies for Dealing with Bullying

On receiving a report of an incident of bullying, the person receiving the report should:

• Listen, reassure and take the matter seriously
• Record the nature of the bullying, the background and the frequency
• Inform the Club Welfare Officer or the Club Chairman
• Speak to the swimmer alleged to have carried out the bullying - listen and record what they say
• Consider both sides of the incident
• Report back to the victim
• Suggest action to re-establish positive relationships between the two parties
• Support the victim and encourage them to be assertive
• Help the alleged bully challenge his or her behaviour
• If appropriate, consider punishments, such as withdrawl from swimming sessions for a period
• Ensure the family are informed
• Monitor the behaviour

Action for Swimmers

• If you feel you are being bullied, tell a coach or other adult helper in whom you can confide
• Tell the person responsible that you want them to stop - be prepared to say "NO"
• Try to ignore comments and not to react
• Do not give the bully any power - remember, the bully has the problem - NOT YOU!
• If you witness any bullying of others, tell someone

Action for Parents

• Encourage your child to talk about what happens at the club
• Listen and take seriously any reports of bullying
• Try to establish the facts
• Contact your child's coach, the Club Welfare Officer or any Committee member
• Work with the club to develop strategies to support your child
• Remember that keeping your child at home does not solve the problem

If your child is responsible for bullying, make it clear that such behaviour is unacceptable - work with the club to develop strategies to change their behaviour.