EVGC is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our members. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable. We believe it is important that participants, coaches, committee members and parents should, at all times, show respect and understanding for the welfare of others.
Our Anti-Bullying Policy has been designed with our entire membership in mind; we recognise that an abuser may be from different groups within our organisation and that bullying can take different forms. If bullying does occur, members should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with effectively. We are a transparent club. This means that ANYONE who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell staff or a Club Welfare Officer.
The aim of the EVGC anti-bullying policy is to clarify for our members, gymnasts and coaches, that bullying is always unacceptable. We wish to encourage an environment where independence is celebrated, and individuals can flourish without fear. Every gymnast and coach have the right to be safe and happy at EVGC and to be protected when he/she is feeling uncomfortable.
Definition of Bullying
Bullying is repeated behaviour which makes children, young people and others feel uncomfortable or threatened whether this is intended or not.
There are different sorts of bullying, but the main types being:
- Physical Hitting, kicking, taking or hiding belongings including money.
- Verbal Name calling, teasing, insulting, writing unkind notes.
- Emotional – Being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting, spreading rumours, looks.
- Cyber All areas of internet, such as email and chat room misuse.
- Mobile threats by text messaging and calls.
It is not always possible to tell if someone is hurt or upset because people react in different ways and sometimes adults e.g. coaches are unaware of the effect their behaviour has on others. An overzealous coach or one who resorts to aggressive physical or verbal behaviour; tormenting, humiliating or ignoring a person may be accused of bullying.
Possible signs of bullying
Gymnasts who are being bullied may show changes in behaviour, such as becoming shy and nervous, feigning illness or clinging to parents and/or coaches. They may show changes in their work patterns, may lack concentration or may even start to show poor attendance.
Encouragement to tell someone
It is important we create an atmosphere at EVGC where gymnasts who are being bullied, or others who know about it feel that they will be listened to and believed, and that action taken will be swift but sensitive to their concerns. Not telling protects the bully or bullies and gives the message that they can continue, perhaps bullying others too. Gymnasts at EVGC are encouraged to tell either their own coach, the Head Coach or a Welfare Officer.
In the first instance it is important to make it clear to the victim that revenge is not appropriate, and to the bully that their behaviour is unacceptable, and has caused distress. Every effort is made by the Club to resolve the problem through counselling of both parties by the Head Coach and Welfare Officers. At this stage parents of both parties will be informed by the Clubs Welfare Team of what has happened, and how it has been dealt with. It is vital that everything that happens is carefully recorded in a clear factual way. If the bullying behaviour continues, and counselling has not worked, then sanctions follow. These will be decided between the Head Coach, and the Welfare Team. Counselling will be maintained for both parties even when sanctions have been applied.
To EVGC Members
We want you to be happy and enjoy your time at the Club. If someone else is behaving towards you in a way that is making you feel unhappy, then we would like you to tell either their own coach, the Head Coach or a Welfare Officer. They will talk to you about it and together with you, decide what can be done to make you feel more comfortable. Remember if you are being made unhappy by someone else we would like to help make it better for you and stop behaviour that makes other
If you think your son/daughter, may be being bullied, or he/she tells you they are, please let your child’s coach, Head Coach or the Welfare Team know straight away. Please reassure them that we will deal with it sensitively but firmly. If your child tells us he/she is being bullied, or we discover that he/she is being bullied, our Welfare Team will contact you, and we can discuss together how the situation can be resolved.
Date Adopted: August 2019