| Safe Sport | About Safeguarding

About Safeguarding

We are committed to ensuring everyone feels safe and supported in our sport through positive practice where misconduct is challenged and abuse is not tolerated. The sections below have information for every role in gymnastics with links to resources and additional support

Coach laughing with young boy swinging from bar in preschool gymnastics class

Scottish Gymnastics

  • Aims to develop, ingrain, and maintain the highest wellbeing and protection standards and systems in sport
  • Promotes an up-stander culture so that people understand safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and are accountable for their behaviours and actions.
  • Ensures everyone feels confident raising and sharing concerns, knowing they will be listened to, taken seriously, supported, and appropriate action will be taken.
  • Fosters a holistic, person-centred approach in supporting mental health and wider wellbeing of members
Gymnasts

We want to make sure that you enjoy taking part in gymnastics, spending time with other gymnasts and developing your skills. Gymnastics should be fun and enjoyable. You have the right to be happy, safe and have your voice listened to. You should feel safe and supported, knowing there’s always someone you can turn to for help if you need it.
We support clubs, coaches and everyone who works with gymnasts to safeguard your wellbeing. Your club has a trained safeguarding officer – you should know who this person is. Your coaches and helpers are all trained to make sure you have the best experience in gymnastics.
You have the right to
• take part in gymnastics in a positive, fun, safe, environment free from bullying
• feel valued and protected
• be able to ask questions and be given information
• tell your coach if you are in pain during training
• your voice being heard and your views respected
• be yourself and not be discriminated against
• speak up if you have a concern without it affecting your training or your place in a team, at a camp or selection for an event or competition, whether you are representing your club or country

If you ever feel unhappy or worried about anything in gymnastics, don’t keep it to yourself.

If something has happened to you that you don’t think is right, or has upset you, scared you, or made you feel unsafe, you should:
tell an adult you trust as soon as possible. This could be your parent or someone in your family; another member of staff at the club; a teacher or school counsellor; your doctor or school nurse.

Speak to your club safeguarding officer, who is there to help you and every gymnast at your club. if you are worried, concerned or scared about something, or if someone is making you or another child unhappy or upset, your club safeguarding officer is there to support you.

Scottish Gymnastics wellbeing and safe sport team is here to listen and help. You can email us and tell us what happened and we will do our best to help you. You will be listened to, taken seriously, supported, and appropriate action will be taken.

You can also speak confidentially to our safe sport team by emailing safegym@scottishgymnastics.org

Reporting concerns
Additional information and support
Online safety

Safeguarding policies and procedures

Parents & Carers


We believe that parents and carers play an essential role in their child’s sporting experience. We recognise you as key in ensuring that your child has a positive, safe, and fulfilling experience in gymnastics. Parents’ involvement can be so impactful, here are some things we encourage you to do.

Communicate:  speak to the club safeguarding officer and coach, share any information with them that helps them know who your child is and what their needs are. Do they have any care or support needs, recent out of sport injuries or home life situations that might be affecting them? Also, make sure that you share suitable contact and emergency contact numbers
Be present: at the club, events and competitions as much as you can. Being there will have a really positive impact on your child, help you to offer encouragement and be part of their journey
Be proactive: ask the club safeguarding officer and coach what your club’s safeguarding policy and procedures are, and what your responsibilities are as a parent

Picking a club
It is important you can make informed decisions and check how well a gymnastics club or activity provider operates. When you are looking for a club for your child, we recommend you ask the following questions.
• Is your club registered with Scottish Gymnastics?
• Are all the coaches, helpers and officials working with children and young people members of Scottish Gymnastics?
• Have all coaches and helpers working with the children and young people been recruited using Scottish Gymnastics safe recruitment procedures?
• Have all coaches and helpers working with the children and young people attended Scottish Gymnastics safeguarding training?
• Does your club have a named and trained safeguarding officer, whose role it is to co-ordinate the protection of children?
• Are there procedures in place for reporting any issues or concerns about the wellbeing of children and young people?
• Are all the coaches qualified and insured to the appropriate level?
• Does the club have a safeguarding policy which reflects Scottish Gymnastics guidelines?
• Does your club operate a sign out register for the children?
• Does your club hold relevant medical and special requirement information on each child as well as parent/guardian emergency contact details?

Download Scottish Gymnastics 10 questions for parents
Children 1st parents guide to finding a safe sports club


Reporting concerns
If you have any concerns, it is important to report it as soon as possible. This could be about your child, another gymnast, an adult’s behaviour towards a child or the behaviour or culture in your club or during gymnastics activities, We want you to know you will be listened to, taken seriously, supported, and appropriate action will be taken.
Information on reporting concerns
Safeguarding policies and procedures
Additional information and support
Online safety
Guidance from the NSPCC on supporting your child in sport

Clubs


Clubs have a duty of care to the children and young people in their club and to the coaches, helpers and officials working within the club. 

By following Scottish Gymnastics policies and procedures and adopting best practice, the risk of harm should be reduced and allow all those participating in gymnastics to enjoy a safe, fun and positive experience. Scottish Gymnastics safeguarding training is mandatory for all those working with children, young people and protected adults regardless of whether in a paid or voluntary capacity.

Each club must have a safeguarding officer responsible for members’ safeguarding and wellbeing as part of the minimum operating requirements. The safeguarding officer should also become a member of the club’s organising committee or board of trustees and act as advisor on all safeguarding matters.
If your club is appointing a new safeguarding officer, you must email us at safeguarding@scottishgymnastics.org to arrange ID verification for PVG and an induction.
Clubs must complete the safe recruitment process appointing a coach, helper or official in either a voluntary or paid capacity. You should ensure that every coach working in your club has a PVG through Scottish Gymnastics and has attended a safeguarding course.

Scottish Gymnastics complies with the eight standards for Child Wellbeing and Protection in Sport (CWPS) through our sportscotland investment. These provide a framework for sports to promote a safe and child-centred culture. The minimum criteria set a benchmark for good practice to help ensure children and young people’s rights are realised in an enjoyable and safe space.

We recommend that your club uses the Child Wellbeing & Protection in Sport club tool which allows you to see how well your club is doing against the CWPS standards. Your club can answer a series of questions to identify areas for development and create an action plan to help you create a positive and safe culture and better safeguard children and young people.
Child Wellbeing and Protection in sport standards
The Child Wellbeing and Protection in sport tool


If you have any concerns about behaviour or culture in your club or during gymnastics activities, we want you to know you will be listened to, taken seriously, supported, and appropriate action will be taken.
Safe recruitment and PVG
Safeguarding policies and procedures
Safe recruitment and PVG
Scottish Gymnastics code of practice for coaches & officials

Reporting concerns
Additional information and support
Online safety

Safeguarding Officers

The safeguarding officer is key in helping clubs meet Scottish Gymnastics safeguarding requirements. They are encouraged to promote best practice throughout the club by ensuring everyone is aware of their role and responsibilities. The safeguarding officer should also become a member of the club’s organising committee or board of trustees and act as advisor on all safeguarding matters.

Our team supports safeguarding officers with an induction when they are appointed. We give them a toolkit full of helpful resources, and are on hand for advice and dealing with serious concerns.

Safeguarding officer requirements
• Must be over 21 years of age and should not be an active coach within any Scottish Gymnastics club or a close family member, spouse, partner or close personal friend of a coach in the club.
• Must have completed Safeguarding 2 or Scottish Gymnastics Wellbeing & Protection 1 training and attended Club Safe Recruitment workshop
• PVG Scheme Record accessed through Scottish Gymnastics

Role
• Conducts the administrative work for the safe recruitment of coaches, helpers and officials, including PVG applications (verify ID documentation) ensuring Scottish Gymnastics procedures are followed consistently
• Is the first point of contact for coaches, helpers, parents, and gymnasts on any issues concerning safeguarding and the wellbeing of the club members (poor practice or potential alleged abuse)
• Ensures effective implementation of Scottish Gymnastics policies and procedures in the club
• Acts as adviser to the club’s management committee or board of trustees on safeguarding policy and procedures
• Ensures that all coaches, helpers, chaperones, and officials maintain relevant up to date Scottish Gymnastics safeguarding awards
• Ensures that all incidents are correctly recorded and reported in keeping with Scottish Gymnastics policies and procedures
• Ensures confidentiality is maintained and information is only shared on a strict ‘need to know’ basis
• Understands Scottish Gymnastics’ safeguarding policies and procedures
• Can communicate clearly and effectively with all club members and Scottish Gymnastics safe sport team
• Can follow procedures and be confident about when to seek advice about concerns and complaints and not rely solely on their own judgement
• Ensure all persons working with children, young people and vulnerable adults at the club are fully aware of what is required of them

Scottish Gymnastics promotes an upstander culture so that people understand safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and are accountable for their behaviours and actions.

We want everyone to feel confident raising and sharing concerns, knowing they will be listened to, taken seriously, supported, and appropriate action will be taken.

Safeguarding policies and procedures
Safe recruitment and PVG
Scottish Gymnastics code of practice for coaches & officials

Reporting concerns
Additional information and support
Online safety

Coaches


Gymnastics is a brilliant sport that can have a very positive influence on children and young people, especially when activities are led by people who place their wellbeing at the heart of everything.

We aim to ensure children and young people stay safe and have fun while taking part in gymnastics.  We have resources, education and support to help you in your role.  You must adopt and apply the Scottish Gymnastics policies and procedures consistently, regardless of whether you work as a volunteer or in a paid role.

You are responsible for:

• Making sure you have a PVG through Scottish Gymnastics and completed safeguarding training before you work in a member club
• Conforming to the highest standards of integrity, behaviour and practice which are set out in the code of practice for coaches and officials
• Never coaching on your own under any circumstances.  There must be at least two qualified coaches always present during a training session: one minimum level 2, plus one appropriately qualified assistant coach in the disciplines being offered.

You have the right to:

• access ongoing training and information on all aspects of your role, including safeguarding, wellbeing and protection
• ask questions and be listened to and be respected
• be supported if reporting suspected abuse or poor practice
• be protected from abuse from spectators, other adults, coaches, parents, gymnasts
• know that reporting a concern will not affect your or a gymnasts place in a team, at a camp or selection for an event or competition

If you have any concerns about behaviour or culture in your club or during gymnastics activities, we want you to know you will be listened to, taken seriously, supported, and appropriate action will be taken.

Scottish Gymnastics code of practice for coaches & officials
Safeguarding policies and procedures
Safe recruitment and PVG
Reporting concerns
Online safety

Additional information and support

Other Roles


Clubs are responsible for ensuring everyone over the age of 16 who works with children or adults at risk in a paid or voluntary role are suitable to do so through our safe recruitment policy.

You must make sure you have a PVG through Scottish Gymnastics and completed safeguarding training before you work in a member club in the following roles:

• official
• team manager
• chaperone
• helper in gym – assisting children
• tutor
• head of child protection
• coach, assistant coach, head coach – see section above.
• safeguarding officer – see section above

We recommend that anyone with a managerial responsibility for individuals in the above positions should also complete a PVG application.
For club helpers under the age of 16, we ask that a self-declaration form is submitted by the club and sent to pvg@scottishgymnastics.org in word format.

Complete the Under 16 Self-Declaration Form

If you have any concerns about behaviour or culture in your club or during gymnastics activities, we want you to know you will be listened to, taken seriously, supported, and appropriate action will be taken.

Safeguarding policies and procedures

Non-members


Gymnastics is a brilliant sport which can have a positive influence on children and young people. As the governing body for the sport in Scotland, we want them to stay safe and have fun while taking part.

We work with our registered clubs to support and promote a safe and rewarding environment in which young people can develop their skills and confidence. We develop policies, procedures and education as well as provide help, guidance and support.

All registered coaches and everyone working with children in clubs, such as helpers, team managers, chaperones, judges, and officials, are PVG checked through Scottish Gymnastics and undergo mandatory safeguarding training.

Scottish Gymnastics is committed to ensuring everyone feels safe and supported through positive practice where misconduct is challenged and abuse is not tolerated. We work to develop, ingrain, and maintain the highest wellbeing and protection standards and systems in sport. We also foster a holistic person-centred approach in supporting mental health and wider wellbeing of members.

If you have any concerns about behaviour or culture in any Scottish Gymnastics club or anything you see or hear during gymnastics activities or events, we ask you to speak up. You will be listened to, taken seriously, supported, and appropriate action will be taken.

Safeguarding policies and procedures
Information on reporting concerns

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