Code of Conduct for Coaches/Volunteers


Coaches/Volunteers should ensure that:

• they are familiar with the Code of Ethics (this may be down-loaded frtom the Swim Ireland web-site) , with these guidelines, with Swim Ireland and their club rules and are aware of and follow the required procedures

• they are qualified for their position and are up-to-date with the knowledge and skill required

• consider the well-being and safety of participants before the development of performance

• they create a safe environment for their swimmers

• they remember that young swimmers participate for fun and enjoyment and that skill development and personal satisfaction have priority over highly structured competition.

• they plan and prepare appropriately

• they are positive during sessions. Praise and encourage effort as well as results and never ridicule or shout unnecessarily at swimmers.

• they are careful to avoid favoritism. Each child will require attention appropriate to their needs and stage of development.

• they take care not to expose a child to persistent criticism, sarcasm, or hostility

• they never make winning the only objective and will set age-appropriate and realistic goals for the swimmers.

• they insist that swimmers in their care respect the rules of the sport and will insist on fair play and ensure swimmers are aware that cheating or bullying behaviour will not be tolerated. They should encourage the development of respect for opponents, officials, coaches and other swimmers and avoid criticism of fellow coaches or other leaders

• they are aware of boundaries between a working relationship and friendship with their swimmers.

• they should avoid working alone with swimmers and ensure there is adequate supervision for all activities.

• there is another parent/lifeguard/leader on duty at all times while teaching/coaching children.

• they involve parents where possible and inform parents and/or Childrens’ Officer /club committee when problems arise.

• they co-operate with the recommendations from medical and ancillary practitioners in the management of swimmers’ medical or related problems. Coaches/Volunteers may request a certificate of medical fitness if thought necessary.

• they avoid giving advice of a personal or medical nature if not qualified to do so or undertake any form of therapy (hypnosis etc.) in the training of children.

• they do not carry out any medical testing such as lactic acid testing themselves unless medically qualified to do so and only then with the parents consent.

• they recognise developmental needs and realise that certain procedures may effect a child physically or psychologically and should thus be avoided.

• they are aware that children may be sensitive to their height, weight etc and avoid anything that may heighten that sensitivity.

• they keep any information in relation to a swimmer of a personal or medical nature strictly confidential unless the welfare of the child requires the passing on of this information.

• they never use physical punishment or physical force, nor punish a mistake - by verbal means, physical means, or exclusion.

• they never engage in rough physical games, sexually provocative games. allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any kind, and /or make sexually suggestive comments about, or to a child.

• they never exert undue influence over a participant in order to obtain personal benefit or reward.

• they acknowledge that the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco is incompatible with a healthy approach to sporting activity and must be discouraged. They should avoid the use of alcohol, before sessions, during events and on trips with young swimmers.