Code of Conduct

26th February 2024

Conduct Guidelines
Young Peoples Responsibility
Players Code of Conduct
Parents Responsibility
Sports Leaders (Coaches, Selectors, Team Managers
& Appointed Volunteers)
Supporters and Spectators

Conduct Guidelines

The Galway Lawn Tennis Club Code of Conduct is our leading policy on establishing
acceptable standards of behaviour in our club or representing our club.

A young person’s experience of sport should be guided by what is best for the child/young
person. The stage of development and the ability of the child/young person should guide the
type of activity provided within a sporting environment. Adults will need to have a basic
understanding of the needs of a child/young person, including their physical, emotional and
personal needs. Sport gives young people an opportunity to be part of a team and to learn and
develop skills; the sporting environment should be regarded by children as a safe place.

Within GLTC, we want children to have fun and develop skills in a safe and fair environment
where good standards of behaviour are adopted at ALL times.

We recognise that competition and winning is an important goal but winning at all costs does
not meet the needs of children/young players.

GLTC is aware that there are increasing numbers of children leaving the sport at a certain
age. A number of the most common reasons given are; that sport was no longer fun, they did
not get to compete, overemphasis on winning, and competing against all other sports

Therefore, we have to make every effort to ensure that we keep a balanced approach to
competition, make sure all players get a chance to compete and strive to keep the fun in youth

Zero-Tolerance Policy on Abusive Behaviour: GLTC has a zero tolerance policy towards any
form of abusive, demeaning, inappropriate, or intimidating behaviour towards staff,
committee members, Board of Management and members. Violations of this policy will
result in immediate disciplinary action, up to and including termination of membership.

Young Peoples Responsibility

Just like coaches and volunteers, young people have responsibilities to make the activity fun
and safe. This means respecting the coaches’ volunteers and other players who are there to
help young people by:

• sticking to the rules of the game
• Not making insulting comments or swearing at the coach or other helpers and other
club members.
• being prepared and on time for sessions/training
• doing their best at all times
• giving their friends a second chance if they make a mistake
• welcoming new members
• Saying NO to bullying

Players Code of Conduct

GLTC recognises that the nature of the sport allows adults and juveniles to play with / against
each other. The following highlights what players should NEVER allow happen:

• never argue with the coach or referee in public• never cheat
• never use foul language especially in front of or to a juvenile
• disrespect anyone on court with you
• take photos of juveniles unless parental consent has been given
• show aggressive behavior or threaten anyone
• Use bullying tactics to gain an advantage or manipulate other players
• Train or play if they feel unwell or are injured

Players should behave appropriately and should act in a manner which sets a good example to
all involved within the club. Players should:

• play fairly and within the rules
• respect their fellow players regardless of ability, cultural, or ethnic origin, gender,
sexual orientation or religious beliefs
• Take due care of Club Equipment and that of other players
• Accept the decisions of referees and/or umpires
• Be gracious in defeat and modest in victory
• Adhere to acceptable standards of behavior in line with the Code of Conduct
• Know they can talk to their Safeguarding Officer with any concerns they may have
about themselves or other players

Adult-child relationships in sport should be:

• open, positive and encouraging
• entered into by choice
• defined by a mutually agreed set of goals and commitments
• respectful of the creativity and autonomy of children/young people
• carried out in a context where children/young people are protected and where their
rights are promoted
• free from physical, emotional or sexual abuse and neglect or any threat of such harm
• respectful of the needs and developmental stage of the child
• aimed at the promotion of enjoyment and individual progress
• governed by a code of ethics and good practice in sport that is agreed and adhered to
by all members of the sports club/organisation
• respectful, but not unquestioning of authority
• mindful of the fact that children with disabilities may be more vulnerable

Parents Responsibility

GLTC recognise the significance of parental behaviour and how it can influence young
players. Parents should be there to support the running of the club. As parents they should:

• help out when asked – (once they are Garda Vetted, parents can help out on a regular
• be enthusiastic and cheer the young people on but not embarrass them
• never argue with the coach or referee in public
• never put undue pressure on their child
• be realistic in their expectations
• applaud the effort and performance rather than the result
• encourage a balanced and healthy lifestyle for their child or children
• drop their young person off and collect them on time
• listen to any concerns the club may have
• make sure the young people have the correct kit/shoes/equipment

Parents and young people should be provided with a copy of the guidelines contained within
this document about their responsibility and expectations, to sign and return an
acknowledgement of their agreement to behave to an agreed standard.

Sports Leaders (Coaches, Selectors, Team Managers & Appointed Volunteers)

GLTC recognises the key role leaders play in the lives of children/young people in sport.
Coaches and volunteers involved in youth tennis, badminton and squash have a great
opportunity to be a positive role model and help build an individual’s confidence. They have
an overall responsibility to take the necessary steps to ensure that positive and healthy
experiences are provided.

All Leaders should have as their priority the child’s safety and enjoyment of the sport and
should adhere to the guidelines and regulations set out in GLTC’s Safeguarding Children and
Young People policy.

This summary explains what you should do to keep young people safe and make sure they
have fun. It also helps you think about what responsibilities you have.
Sports Leaders

• Are there to make sure children/young people learn skills, enjoy the activity and keep
safe. It means you should respect children/young people and consider their safety by:
• being reliable
• being fair and letting them have their say
• making them feel safe
• letting them take part
• encouraging them
• being a good role model
• not showing favouritism
• never condoning bullying or abusive language
• work in an open environment where children and young people can voice concerns
• adhere to GLTC supervision guidelines as per the supervision policy.
• holding a register of those who attend each session – This is very important from an
Insurance perspective
• agreeing to safe recruitment procedures (including vetting)
• Making sure that they do not feel uncomfortable.

Coaches and Volunteers must make sure that:

• They themselves are vetted through Badminton Ireland, Tennis Ireland, Squash
Ireland or via GLTC
• the activity is FUN
• they have the right qualification for their role
• the equipment used is safe
• you know what you are doing
• Act as a good role model for children and young people
• You treat young people as individuals.

You should not:

• engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay
• allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching
• allow children/young people to use foul, sexualised or discriminatory language
• make sexually suggestive comments to a child/young person
• enter the area of play unless the referee/official in charge has given permission to do
• take coaching sessions on your own
• reduce a child/young person to tears as a form of control
• smoke, consume alcohol or use non-prescribed drugs whilst underage players are in
your care
• allow allegations made by a child/young person to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not
acted upon
• over-train your players
• Invite or allow children/young people to stay with you at your home.
• Communicate individually by text, email or via social media with children or young
• Ignore any concerns a child/young person may have regarding their welfare

It is hugely important that the coach is made aware of who their Safeguarding Officer is, and
that any concerns that are made aware to a coach regarding a child/young person are passed
onto the Safeguarding Officer. Coaches and volunteers within GLTC are expected to make
themselves familiar with and sign the more detailed Sports Coaches Charter

Supporters and Spectators

Supporters and spectators are encouraged to appreciate the entertainment given by our sports.
We acknowledge the impact that supporters and spectators have in promoting our sport and
enhancing the image of GLTC as well as Tennis, Badminton and Squash.

In this capacity, supporters of the game and those who play it should take into consideration
the following in terms of their behaviour within our sport:

• Applaud good performances and effort, particularly when watching players
• Condemn the use of violence in any form
• Using appropriate and acceptable language
• Respecting all officials within the game
• Never disrespecting a player who makes a mistake
• Never entering the court of play at any stage
• Ensuring that respect is shown to opponents to those of whom you are supporting
• It is important that all those who are there to support players do so in a manner which
upholds the principles of fair play.