Code of Conduct


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The Goulbourn Sea Hawks Swim Club’s (GSH) main objectives are to promote, foster, teach and perpetuate the sport of swimming and to encourage the training of all athletes for competition in the field of amateur swimming. The club has always promoted the well-being, safety and the respect of all athletes involved in the sport. This Swimmer Code of Conduct will allow all swimmers to achieve their highest level of excellence and to develop personal discipline and self-motivation. Also, it will ensure that our training and travel together remains enjoyable and safe for all members of the team.

Swimmers, coaches, chaperones, and parents associated with the GSH, represent themselves, the Team, the sport of swimming and their community when attending swim meets, events and functions.  The GSH wants to project an image that makes all of us proud of our sport and our swimmers.

All individuals representing or traveling on behalf of GSH are required to read, discuss with their child and sign the GSH Swimmer Code of Conduct, thereby agreeing to the principles and spirit of this Code of Conduct.


  • No swimmer is permitted on deck without a coach in attendance.
  • Swimmers are expected to be present 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the training session
  • Running, pushing or horseplay on the deck or in change rooms is not permitted.
  • Swimmers are not permitted to stay in the changerooms for longer than 15 minutes after their practice end time.
  • Swimmers are expected to assist coaches’ when requested to help with any equipment
  • Swimmers are expected to obey all instructions and training assignments of the coaches.
  • Swimmers are not to use tobacco, alcohol or other illegal substances. Only those substances prescribed by a physician and/or approved by parents (aspirin/Tylenol) may be taken.
  • The abuse of any person—either physically or verbally or through electronic communication -- or of any property (team equipment/training facilities/teammates belongings) by either swimmers or parents will not be tolerated
  • Abusive or offensive language and/or gestures will not be tolerated.
  • Swimmers and parents will treat their teammates and coaches with care and respect – you are all working together as a team.
  • Swimmers and parents will act in a polite and respectful manner at all public venues. Their behavior must positively reflect the high standards of the GSH
  • Coaches will not be permitted to drive non-family swimmers to and from practices.


  • Swimmers must submit permission forms in advance of the deadline.
  • Swimmers must be on time for the start of their session warm-up with the necessary equipment.
  • Swimmers must wear proper team uniform
  • Swimmers must show their competition and meet officials, courtesy and respect.
  • Swimmers must be readily available to the coaches and sit with the team in the assigned area to show team support.
  • The use of cell phones on deck is not permitted during competitions.
  • If swimmers must leave the deck/assigned team sitting area, the coach needs to be advised.
  • Coaches will deal with any swimming issues at meets.


  • Swimmers and parents must respect and cooperate with coaches and chaperones (if assigned) at all times.
  • Swimmers must comply with travel, training, competition and behavioral guidelines set by coach or chaperone. (ie. curfew lights out, nap/quiet time, healthy eating)
  • Swimmers must be punctual for set times (team meeting, meals, and departures to and from event)
  • Swimmers are expected to remain with the team at all times during the trip. Swimmers must have coaches, chaperones or parents’ permission to leave any area where the team has gathered. If no parent, then swimmer must be accompanied by coach, chaperone or another swimmer.
  • Responsible, orderly and reasonably quiet behavior is expected of swimmers at all times.
  • Hotel etiquette of the highest caliber is mandatory because other patrons/guests may be using the hotel for rest. Some behaviors not acceptable include but are not limited to:
  • Running/loitering/roughhousing in hallways/foyer/rooms
  • Loud music/TV
  • Constant room to room calling/prank calls
  • Door banging
  • Aquatic centers, hotel rooms, and travel vehicles are to be treated with respect and kept neat, tidy and clean. Any damages will be the responsibility of parents of involved child(ren).
  • Having mixed gender company in room or visitors from outside the team is only permitted with coaches, chaperones or parents’ permission or supervision.

The above Code of Conduct, while not exhaustive, is meant to provide GSH swimmers/parents with some guidelines and rules of conduct that are expected of them during training, competitions, and travel. This code is in effect from the point of departure until returning home. It is a guideline only and subject to change based on individual circumstances.


Violation of any portion of this code may result in a swimmer being scratched from a single meet session, scratched from the remainder of a meet, removed from practice, possible suspension from practice, possible suspension from future meets, possible expulsion from the team and/or other discipline as determined by the GSH coaching staff and Board of Directors.

Infractions of the Code of Conduct may result in that swimmer’s family having to assume some financial burden if swimmer is being sent home early from a meet or scratched.

A swimmer or parent in violation of the Code of Conduct is entitled to meet with the coaching staff/Board with his or her parents to discuss appropriate disciplinary actions. The swimmer may be suspended from the team prior to this conference. Objections and complaints are to be resolved with the Head Coach, failing which, they are to be directed, in writing, to the President, and in turn to be taken up by the Board of Directors.


I have read, understand and will adhere to the GSH Swimmers Code of Conduct.  Swimmers and parents will behave in a manner, which favorably reflects on themselves, their families, the Goulbourn Sea Hawks Swim Club and the sport of swimming.

Comprehensive Code of Conduct and Ethics

Agreement: We agree that our club and all our swimmers, parents, officials and coaches will abide by the Swim Ontario Comprehensive Code of Conduct and Ethics. We acknowledge receipt of this Code and we further agree to inform all members of our organization of this Code.


BACKGROUND This procedure covers anyone participating in Swim Ontario sanctioned activities. Individuals can and typically will be subject to the provisions of more than one code simultaneously (please see Swimming Canada, athlete club, tour teams and more). This procedure defines the appropriate actions and conduct of people participating in a Swim Ontario sanctioned activity. Although other organizations may have their own conduct standards this is the minimum expectation of Swim Ontario. This procedure supports Swim Ontario’s Risk Management policy.



1. The following terms have these meanings in this Policy: a. “Individuals” – All categories of Membership within the Swim Ontario, as per the Swim Ontario Bylaws, as well as all individuals engaged in activities with Swim Ontario, including but not limited to, clubs, athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, managers, administrators, directors and officers of Swim Ontario, and parents/guardians of Swim Ontario Registrants.


2. The purpose of this Code of Conduct and Ethics ("Code") is to ensure a safe and positive environment within Swim Ontario programs, activities and events, by making all individuals aware that there is an expectation at all times of appropriate behavior consistent with the values of Swim Ontario as set out in Section 3 below.

3. Swim Ontario is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect. Individuals are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a manner consistent with the values of Swim Ontario that include fairness, integrity, open communication and mutual respect.

4. Conduct that violates this Code may be subject to sanctions pursuant to Swim Ontario’s policies related to discipline and complaints.

Application of this Policy

5. This Policy applies to conduct that may arise during the course of Swim Ontario business, activities and events, including but, not limited to, its office environment, competitions, practices, training camps, travel, and any meetings of, or on behalf of, Swim Ontario.

6. This Policy also applies to the conduct of Individuals that may occur outside of Swim Ontario’s business, activities, events, and meetings when such conduct adversely affects relationships within Swim Ontario and its work and sport environment and is detrimental to the image and reputation of Swim Ontario.


7. All Individuals have a responsibility to: a) maintain and enhance the dignity and self-esteem of Swim Ontario Members and other Individuals by:

i. demonstrating respect to individuals regardless of body type, physical characteristics, athletic ability, gender, ancestry, color, ethnic or racial origin, nationality, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, religion, religious belief, political belief, disability or economic status;

ii. focusing comments or criticism appropriately and avoiding public criticism of athletes, coaches, officials, organizers, volunteers, employees, and Members;

iii. consistently demonstrating the spirit of sportsmanship, sports leadership, and ethical conduct;

iv. acting, when appropriate, to prevent or correct practices that are unjustly discriminatory;

v. consistently treating individuals fairly and reasonably; and,

vi. ensuring that the rules of swimming, and the spirit of such rules, are adhered to.

b) Refrain from any behavior that constitutes harassment, where harassment is defined as comment or conduct directed towards an individual or group, which is offensive, abusive, racist, sexist, degrading or malicious. Types of behavior that constitute harassment include, but are not limited to:

i. written or verbal abuse, threats or outbursts;

ii. the display of visual material which is offensive or which one ought to know is offensive in the circumstances;

iii. unwelcome remarks, jokes, comments, innuendos or taunts;

iv. leering or other suggestive or obscene gestures; v. condescending or patronizing behavior which is intended to undermine self-esteem, diminish performance or adversely affect working conditions;

vi. practical jokes which cause awkwardness or embarrassment, endanger a person’s safety or negatively affect performance; vii. any form of hazing;

viii. unwanted physical contact including, but not limited to, touching, petting, pinching or kissing;

ix. physical or sexual assault;

xi. behaviors such as those described above that are not directed towards a specific individual or group but have the same effect of creating a negative or hostile environment; or

xii. retaliation or threats of retaliation against an individual who reports harassment to Swim Ontario.

c) Refrain from any behavior that constitutes sexual harassment, where sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual comments and sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or conduct of a sexual nature. Types of behavior that constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

i. sexist jokes;

ii. display of sexually offensive material;

iii. sexually degrading words used to describe a person;

iv. inquiries or comments about a person’s sex life;

v. unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances, propositions, requests or invitations;

vi. persistent unwanted contact; and

vii. sexual assault.

d) Abstain from the non-medical use of drugs or the use of performance-enhancing drugs or methods. More specifically, Swim Ontario adopts and adheres to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. Any infraction of such Program shall be considered an infraction of this Policy and shall be subject to disciplinary action, and possible sanction, pursuant to Swim Ontario's Discipline Policy. Swim Ontario will respect any penalty enacted pursuant to a breach of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program, whether imposed by Swim Ontario or any other sport organization.

e) Refrain from associating with any person for the purpose of coaching, training, competition, instruction, administration, management, athletic development or supervision of the sport of competitive swimming, if that person is serving a sanction involving a period of ineligibility imposed pursuant to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program and/or the World Anti-Doping Code and recognized by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES). Provided the foregoing is properly established pursuant to the Swim Ontario Discipline Policy, such association on the part of the Member shall be considered a breach of Swim Ontario’s Code of Conduct and Ethics and appropriate disciplinary sanction may be applied.

f) Refrain from the use of power or authority in an attempt to coerce another person to engage in inappropriate activities.

g) In the case of adults, avoid consuming alcohol in situations where minors are present, and take reasonable steps to manage the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages in adult-oriented social situations associated with Swim Ontario events.

h) Respect the property of others and not willfully cause damage.

i) Promote swimming in the most constructive and positive manner possible.

j) Adhere to all federal, provincial, municipal and host country laws.

k) Comply at all times with the Bylaws, policies, procedures, rules and regulations of Swim Ontario, as adopted and amended from time to time.

Board/Committee Members and Staff

8. In addition to paragraph 7 above, Board and Committee Members and Staff of Swim Ontario will:

a. respect the rights, dignity and worth of all persons with whom they engage on behalf of Swim Ontario;

b. be responsible for, first and foremost, the welfare of Swim Ontario functioning primarily as a member of the Board of Directors and/or committee(s) of Swim Ontario, not as a member of any other particular constituency;

c. conduct oneself openly, professionally, lawfully and in good faith in the best interests of Swim Ontario;

d. behave with decorum appropriate to both circumstance and position;

e. be fair, equitable, considerate and honest in all dealings with others;

f. exercise due diligence in upholding one's fiduciary responsibility to the Membership of Swim Ontario;

g. respect the confidentiality appropriate to issues of a sensitive nature;

h. ensure that all Members are given sufficient opportunity to express opinions and that all opinions are given due consideration and weight;

i. respect the decisions of the majority and resign if unable to do so;

j. commit the time to attend meetings and to be diligent in one's preparation for and participation in discussions at such meetings;

k. have a thorough knowledge and understanding of all Swim Ontario governance documents including, but not limited to, the following documents:

(i) Swim Ontario By-Laws

(ii) Swim Ontario policies and procedures

(iii) roles and responsibilities of volunteer Board Members; and,

(iv) the most recent Club Manual, when dealing with specific clubs;

(v) completed confidentiality forms; and, l. meet the highest standards of integrity and suitability, including but not limited to such considerations established by Swim Ontario’s Screening Policy, so that the swimming community is satisfied it has minimized the risk of an unsafe environment.


9. In addition to paragraph 7 above, Clubs of Swim Ontario will:

a. deliver their services in compliance with the By-Laws, policies, rules, regulations and procedures of Swim Ontario, and, where necessary, amend their own rules to comply with those of Swim Ontario;

b. ensure that all athletes and coaches participating in sanctioned competitions are registered Members, in Good Standing, of their respective organizations and Swim Ontario.

c. ensure that all coaches of Swim Ontario clubs join Swim/Natation Canada (SNC), Swim Ontario, the Ontario Swim Coaches Committee (OSCC), and the Canadian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association (CSCTA) as coach members.

d. operate on an ethical foundation including, but not limited to, engaging only authorized coaching personnel and non-sanctioned athletes, and ensuring all participants are properly registered with the club.

Parents/Guardians and Spectators

10. In addition to paragraph 7 above, Parents/Guardians of Swim Ontario Members and Spectators at events will:

a. encourage athletes to play by the rules and resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence;

b. never ridicule a participant for a poor performance or practice; provide positive comments that motivate and encourage participants' continued efforts;

c. respect the decisions and judgments of officials and encourage athletes to do the same;

d. not question a referee, officials’ or Swim Ontario's staffs’ judgment or honesty;

e. respect and show appreciation to all competitors and to the coaches, officials, referees and other volunteers who give their time to the sport; and,

f. keep off of the competition area and not interfere with events or calls.


11. In addition to paragraph 7 above, Athletes will have additional responsibilities to:

a. report any medical problems in a timely fashion, where such problems may limit the athlete’s ability to travel, train or compete;

b. participate and appear on time, well-nourished and prepared to participate to one’s best abilities in all competitions, practices, training sessions, events, activities or projects;

c. properly represent oneself and not attempt to enter a competition for which one is not eligible, by reason of age, classification or other reason;

d. adhere to Swim Ontario’s rules and requirements regarding clothing and equipment;

e. at all times, present oneself in a positive manner to all other athletes, Members and coaches;

f. show respect for, and co-operate with, meet management, pool management, team staff, fellow competitors and people in authority positions within Swim Ontario, as required;

g. encourage other athletes to play by the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence;

h. never ridicule a participant for a poor performance or practice. Provide positive comments that motivate and encourage participants continued effort;

i. respect and show appreciation to all competitors, coaches, officials and other volunteers who give their time to the sport; and,

j. when competing, abide at all times with Swim Ontario’s Code of Conduct and Ethics Policy.

Coaches (Registrants of Swim Ontario and OSCC)

12. In addition to paragraph 7 above, Coaches have additional responsibilities. The athlete-coach relationship is a privileged one and plays a critical role in the personal as well as sport and athletic development of the athlete. Coaches must understand and respect the inherent power imbalance that exists in this relationship and must be extremely careful not to abuse it, consciously or unconsciously. Coaches will at all times:

a. be registered with Swim/Natation Canada (SNC), Swim Ontario, the Ontario Swim Coaches Committee (OSCC), and the Canadian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association (CSCTA) as coach members in good standing.

b. meet the highest standards of integrity and suitability, including, but not limited to, such considerations established by Swim Ontario’s Screening Policy, so that the swimming community is satisfied it has minimized the risk of an unsafe environment.

c. ensure a safe environment by selecting activities and establishing controls that are suitable for the age, experience, ability and fitness level of athletes, and educating athletes as to their responsibilities in contributing to a safe environment;

d. prepare athletes systematically and progressively, using appropriate time frames and monitoring physical and psychological adjustments while refraining from using training methods or techniques that may harm athletes;

e. avoid compromising the present and future health of athletes by communicating and cooperating with sport medicine professionals in the diagnosis, treatment and management of athletes’ medical and psychological problems;

f. avoid any self-induced disability, such as the use of intoxicants or drugs, which interferes with or prejudices the one’s ability to provide services to the athlete.

g. report any ongoing criminal investigation, bail conditions and convictions, including those for violence; child pornography; the possession, use or sale of any illegal substance or anti-doping activity.

h. never provide, promote or condone the use of drugs (other than properly prescribed medications) or performance-enhancing substances pursuant to the Canadian Anti-Doping Policy and, in the case of minors, alcoholic beverages and/or tobacco;

i. consider paramount the welfare and provision of services for athletes;

j. accept and promote athletes’ personal goals and refer athletes to other coaches and sports specialists as appropriate and as opportunities arise;

k. recognize the role and importance of parents being involved in decisions of importance of athletes who have not attained the legal age in his or her jurisdiction;

l. respect the responsibilities and preferences of other coaches and interact in a professional manner;

m. respect all other teams, and athletes from other teams, and, in dealings with them, not encroach upon topics or actions which are deemed to be within the realm of 'coaching', unless first receiving approval from the coach who is responsible for the team or athlete(s) involved.

n. react to requests by athletes and parents that relate to the joining of another club in an objective manner, with the athlete's welfare always being the primary concern. This includes contact with the head coach of the club that a swimmer may be leaving. This will normally be done within 3 days of first contact from a swimmer or parent, unless extraordinary circumstances intervene;

o. must not engage in a sexual relationship with an athlete of under the age of 18 years or an intimate or sexual relation with an athlete over the age of 18 if the coach is in a position of power, trust or authority over such athlete.

p. where an athlete has qualified for a training camp, provincial team, national team, or other such competitive opportunity, the athlete's coach will support the program, applicable coaching staff and Swim Ontario.

q. give athletes the opportunity to contribute to proposed training and performance standards as appropriate. Coaches will provide athletes, and the parents/guardians of athletes who are minors, with the information necessary for such persons to be involved in the decisions that affect the athlete, as appropriate; refrain from intervening in personal affairs that are outside the generally accepted jurisdiction of a coach;

r. act in the best interest of the athlete’s development as a whole person;

s. recognize the power inherent in the position of coach and respect and promote the rights of all participants in sport. This is accomplished by establishing and following procedures for confidentiality (right to privacy), informed participation and fair and reasonable treatment. Coaches have a special responsibility to respect and promote the rights of participants who are in a vulnerable or dependent position and less able to protect their own rights;

t. dress professionally, neatly and inoffensively;

u. use inoffensive language, taking into account the audience being addressed;


13. In addition to paragraph 7 above, Officials will have additional responsibilities to:

a. accept an assignment to officiate at a meet only if one intends to honour that commitment. If, for any reason, one is unable to attend, let the person in charge of officials know as soon as possible;

b. be fair and objective;

c. avoid situations for which a conflict of interest may arise pursuant to Swim Ontario's Conflict of Interest Policy;

d. make independent judgments;

e. have a positive attitude when going to work at a competition, time trial, and swim meet;

f. all officials to follow the dress code prescribed by Swim Ontario and/or Swimming Canada for Swim Ontario sanctioned competitions and SNC designated competitions;

g. be at the pool and ready to work at least 45 minutes before the session begins, particularly if one is doing strokes and turns as the Referee will be giving instructions as to any rule changes or interpretations and procedures for the session at this time;

h. report promptly to the officials’ area to sign in. Officials must remain in the sign-in area until briefing has been completed;

i. accept the assignment one has been given at the meet;

j. remain at your assigned station for the entire session. If you need a replacement for any reason, arrangements must be made with the Referee before leaving your post;

k. know the rules thoroughly as they apply to your assigned position;

l. be as impartial, unobtrusive and inconspicuous as possible. Officials do not coach or cheer while working. Your role is to assist by providing adequate technical supervision for the meet;

m. respect the final decision of the referee - he or she has the right to overturn your decision; and,

n. do not lecture a coach or debate disqualifications with a swimmer while working the deck. Remain composed and professional at all times. Refer any questions or problems that come your way to the referee.