Waterford Crystal Swimming requires that all swimming activities involving children and young people must be supervised. An individual should avoid being alone with a child and it is the responsibility of adults to ensure adequate supervision is provided for any activities in accordance with best practice requirements as described in these procedures. For any activity the welfare and safety of the child must be put first.
Young people are left at the pool or training facility by parents/guardians who expect this to be a safe environment. Supervision must also be provided in line with this policy for away events where further requirements may be required.
A safe environment can only be created when everybody in the Club works together to put safeguards in place for everyone’s protection. Parents/guardians must also understand that they have an important role in implementing safe practices for their children and be willing to help.
Supervision for activities
The following general details must be observed:
All leaders must 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; for example if children have never been away or have particular need requiring specific attention. Group sizes for training purposes will be determined by the qualification of the coach or teacher.
As a guide general supervision for groups requires a ratio of adults to children of 1:8 for under 12 years of age and a ratio 1:10 for participants over 12 years of age. There must always be at least two adults present for all activities.
For mixed gender groups of children there should be leaders of both genders available.
Leaders should avoid being alone with one young person, talking to a young person individually can be done in an open environment, in view of others.
Parents/guardians will be clearly informed of the times for the start and end of training sessions or competitions; the responsibility is with parents/guardians to ensure they are on time to either drop off or collect their children at the required time – this is included in the code of conduct. At least two leaders should remain until all participants have been collected.
The leader/coach will keep attendance records and a record of any incidents / injuries that occur. Coaches and teachers will avoid working alone with young people; The Club is required to organise a parent/supervisory rota to provide for supervision for all sessions.
There must be a pool/dry-land supervision rota for coaching and teaching activities. Providing a rota system for a parent/lifeguard/leader to supervise each teaching/coaching session for children reduces the risks to both children and adults and ensures someone is on hand for any emergency that might arise.
The following points will be observed:
- The rota will be organised in advanced and communicated to all involved – this will be via the club website, & email.
- An individual on the rota is responsible for their own replacement in the event they cannot fullfil their obligation
- Contact details for all individuals on the rota will be available to coaching/teaching staff concerned (these details will be kept confidential and available for those that need them)
- The coach/teacher must be able to rely on the parent/supervisor being present; some sessions take place at more vulnerable times e.g. early morning pool sessions
- The parent/supervisor should arrive at a reasonable time before the session starts and must remain with any teaching/coaching staff until all the children are collected. The responsibility lies with the parent to be on time to collect their children in line with the codes of conduct.
- The parent/supervisor should have a full view and hearing of the pool area; this cannot be achieved by sitting behind protective screens or glass. The parent/supervisor should not interfere with the coaching or teaching of the session. If the parent/supervisor has any concerns these should be brought to the Club Children’s Officer or dealt with immediately if a child is in imminent danger.
- The Club should recognise the continuous need for supervision where children and over 18 participants are involved in a session; parents of over 18 athletes are encouraged to stay involved.
Duties of the supervisor
The supervisor must:
Ensure an attendance record for the session is kept – this can be kept with the coach and should be signed by the coach and supervisor
Take note of children leaving and returning to pool, e.g. a child should return to the pool after visiting the toilet.
Allow the coach/teacher freedom to get on with the session – sometimes coaches or teachers need to feedback to individuals on one to one basis, this should be in open view.
Take note of any problems that occur – refer child related issues to the Club Children’s Officer/all other issues to Committee, usually the secretary.
Have temporary access to children’s contact details in cases of illness or emergency or in the event the session is cancelled.
In cases of emergency, help the coach/teacher by being an extra adult to supervise children or to assist with a response to the emergency.
Changing facilities in Newtown may be shared by both Club members and members of Newtown School, and others; this also applies to the Crystal centre it therefore is not be possible to provide supervision in these areas. The parent/guardian should discuss these circumstances with their child ensuring their child is aware of who to talk to if any issues arise in unsupervised areas.
Parents can choose to remain with their child in the appropriate (gender dependent) changing area; adult men in the male changing area and adult women in the female changing area.
In an emergency circumstance the safety and well-being of a child must be considered above all else.