Some rules and guidelines are needed. It’s important:
- All members behave respectfully towards each other, meaning the club is enjoyable for members and prospective members.
- When undertaking club activities, or wearing club kit, members give a good impression of the club to outsiders.
- There is protection for children and vulnerable adults. Although the club will not be targeting activity for these groups, there will be some involvement by them.
Most of the time this just happens, but the club has a guiding set of rules for behaviour, the Code of Conduct, and a set of guidelines for particular aspects of club activities where protection of children and vulnerable adults is needed. There is a channel to raise concerns. Finally, there is a Disciplinary Procedure to deal with significant breaches of the Code and other behaviour which is unacceptable to the club.
The club aspires to regain its “Club Mark” status to enable it to take on under 18 riders as members. In the interim, the club limits under 18s to joining in activities that their parent or carer takes part in.
Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct sets out good practice for everyone involved in Willesden Cycling Club activities. It consists of four sections covering our conduct with regard to rights, relationships, personal standards and diversity and inclusion.
All members should ensure everyone has an equal right to participate in our cycling activities by-Making cycling a sport that is equally open and available to all club members, and where everyone is treated with respect and as an individual.
- Not discriminating against individuals for any reason, whether as a result of race, colour, gender, marital status, sexuality, age, disability, occupation, religion or political persuasion.
- Making every effort to ensure that all individuals have the opportunity to participate without fear or harassment.
- Respecting the right of riders to consult with other coaches and experts.
- Communicating with each other in a way which reflects respect and care.
We should build relationships within the club that are open and honest, and founded on mutual trust and respect.
- Club members should not behave in a manner that involves, or could be construed as, abuse of any kind (e.g. sexual, physical or emotional abuse, or being neglectful or bullying).
- Any form of sexually related contact with an under age person is strictly forbidden. So too are sexual innuendo, flirting or any inappropriate gestures and terms.
- Members must take action if they have concerns about an adult‘s behaviour towards a child or a vulnerable adult.
- Physical contact during both competitive and non-competitive cycling activities should be limited to that which is appropriate and necessary. It should always be with the consent and approval of the rider/athlete.
Members must strive to demonstrate proper personal behaviour and conduct at all times. This involves –
- Acting as a positive role model for cycling, behaving with respect, honesty, control and dignity to all others.
- Striving towards providing a safe environment for all our activities that maximises the enjoyment and benefits of cycling and minimises risks to participants and competitors.
- Those members who are also club coaches and officials should consider on-going training to maintain their knowledge and expertise within their own specialist areas.
The Willesden Cycling Club celebrates the diversity of its membership and of the people of the London Borough of Brent where it originates.
- We have zero-tolerance for prejudice, discrimination and harassment. Everyone should be treated equally regardless of their status of disability, gender reassignment, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, sex, gender or age.
- Any form of discrimination will not be tolerated, and we ask all our members to challenge discriminatory behaviour or language and report any incidents they have experienced or witnessed to a club officer.
- We foster a culture of accountability. This means being ready to accept responsibility for our actions and to make amends.
- Examples of unacceptable behaviour by a club member(s)
- Unlawful discrimination or harassment.
- Physical violence or bullying.
- Sharing of offensive material on Club official social media (such as the Facebook page).
- Misuse of member-led social media messaging platforms like WhatsApp, including sharing of discriminating or offensive material.
It is club policy to ensure that any disciplinary matter is dealt with fairly and that steps are taken to establish the facts.
The first step will be for issues to be resolved through mediation with the assistance of the committee. For more serious or repeated breaches disciplinary action will be taken in line with the club Disciplinary Procedures. This will be under a new separate term of “Disrespecting the club’s Diversity and Inclusion policy. “
Guidelines for club activities
This is just a guide on how to recognise some forms of bullying or abusive behaviour – it is not a comprehensive list.
Remember adults can be abused or bullied, even if they don’t appear vulnerable.
Abuse can take many forms, involving either direct harm or by failing to prevent harm. Often the abuser is a person known and trusted by the child or vulnerable adult, however abuse may also be performed by another child or peer.
Remember that it is not down to us to decide if abuse is taking place, but it is our responsibility to report it if we think it may be taking place.
Here are some key indicators that should alert us to a child or adult who may be being physically or sexually abused –
- Unexplained bruising or injuries.
- Inadequately treated injuries.
- Sexually explicit action or language.
- Changes in mood or behaviour, or showing withdrawal.
- Changes in weight, self-esteem or appearance (ie dirty or dishevelled).
- Always hungry, perhaps scavenging or stealing food .
- Frequently tired, distant or unable to listen or concentrate.
- No or very few friends
- Out of character aggression, temper or poor discipline.
- Sudden speech problems.
- Use of alcohol, drugs or non-prescribed medication.
Children or vulnerable adults may be subject to one or more types of abuse, here are just some examples of abuse types –
Failing to be provided with basic physical and/or psychological needs. This may range from the abused person not being provided with adequate food, shelter or clothing for the activity; or being left alone or unsupervised; or failing to provide medical care and attention; or deliberately withholding appropriate affection and attention.
Causing physical harm or injury through any form of deliberate harm, and/or providing inappropriate drugs or alcohol.
Some individuals directly target sports activities in order to gain access to, and sexually abuse, children or vulnerable adults. This may include using sporting activities in order to take inappropriate photographs or videos of sportspeople (including children, disabled participants and vulnerable adults) in vulnerable positions.
This type of abuse can take several forms. It may include making the child or adult feel unloved, inadequate, frighten edor feel in danger. Being over-protective and not allowing the child to develop, or conversely by imposing unrealistically high expectations.
Bullying is a hurtful behaviour that is often repeated over a period of time. It can be verbal, written or physical it includes such actions as:
- Physical assaults
- Name calling, sarcasm and racist taunts.
- Threats and gestures
- Unwanted physical contact
- Being ostracised or ignored
- Bullying can also occur over the internet through blogging, emails and social media sites as well as via mobile phones and SMS texting.
Whilst we all want to share and enjoy our cycling experiences, we should also consider carefully before posting a photo or a comment. The image or posting may well be available to a much wider audience than we intended, where some might not have the best interests towards to the people featured in the photographs. In some cases this could lead to cyber-bullying or “grooming” of children for illegal purposes.
- Before publishing any photo on the internet it is recommended that you get the permission of the person concerned. For all photos containing a person aged under 18 or a vulnerable adult, then permission of the parent or carer must always be sought.
- British Cycling provides the following advice for photography at events involving children or vulnerable adults
- Only take on the bike, action shots.
- The visual content and captions should not identify the rider’s full identity or location.
- Attire – Any person featured in a photograph should be suitably dressed and the photographs should focus on the activity rather than a full body shot.
The British Cycling guidance for coaches and other club officers in positions of trust and responsibility for children recommends that they should not to be in direct and personal contact with young people they are training through any form of social networking, texting or email service - rather use group services. https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/coaching/article/coa20140203-Advice-for-coaches-on-using-Social-Media-0
Club runs are not coached sessions, nor is there an organiser with legal responsibility for other riders. A club run is simply a group of riders on a joint excursion on public roads which may include sections on busy roads.
An under-18 cyclist is welcome to join one of Willesden CC club with their parent(s) or carer(s) when their parents/carers judge that they are mature enough to cope with traffic and are strong enough to complete the ride. It is the responsibility of parents/carers to ensure that participants’ bikes are roadworthy, safe, and suitable for the activity they are taking part in.
Riders are expected to be self-sufficient and should bring their own drinks, snacks and spare inner tube(s) money, tyre levers, multitool and a pump. All participants under the age of the 18 must wear a cycling helmet at all times during club runs and be fully equipped for the weather conditions that may be encountered on the ride.
It is recommended that all riders have 3rd Party insurance.
- Changing rooms or changing facilities must be gender specific.
- Where practical, children should be appropriately supervised in changing rooms by two adults.
- Adult coaches or volunteers should not change at the same time as the children they have been working with. It is preferable for other adults to stay away from the changing rooms while there are children present, if this is unavoidable then it is better if one adult is not alone.
- No photographic equipment should be used in the changing room environment. This includes cameras, video cameras, phone cameras etc.
Reporting a concern
If possible bring an issue up immediately with the club member organising the activity. If for any reason that is not possible, raise the concern with the club officer who you feel is most appropriate. If you are a club member use the club member area to find an officer to take up your concern. Non-members should send a brief email with your contact details, including phone, to email@example.com.
- In case of an emergency protection situation contact:Police: 999
Your Local Social Care Emergency Duty Team
NSPCC: 0808 800 5000
Childline: 0800 1111
https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/safeguarding signposts you to British Cycling resources relevant to safeguarding.
If a complaint has been made against a member of the Club, the Club’s Disciplinary Procedure will be invoked.
Every effort will be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled by, and disseminated to, only those who have a need to know
All complaints regarding the behaviour of members should be presented and submitted in writing to the Club Secretary (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
A committee of the club’s officers (“The Committee”) will meet to hear complaints within 21 days of a complaint being lodged. The Committee has the power to take appropriate disciplinary action including the termination of membership.
The outcome of a disciplinary hearing should be notified in writing to the person who lodged the complaint and the member against whom the complaint was made within 14 days of the hearing.
There will be the right of appeal to the Committee following disciplinary action being announced. The Committee should consider the appeal within 21 days of the Club Secretary receiving the appeal.
In the event of a matter of urgency that needs to be resolved before a meeting of the Committee can be convened, the Chairman, Membership Secretary and Secretary (or other officers if any of the three are not available) will have the power to act on behalf of the club to resolve the issue.
The police or British Cycling must be contacted if the circumstances warrant it.
- This procedure covers any complaint about an identifiable member(s). For instance a serious breach of the code of conduct such as racism, reckless cycling, theft and deliberate damage are all examples.
- “In writing” can mean electronically, such as by text and so forth.