Statement of Intent Hatherleigh Youth AFC is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our members so they can participate in football in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our club. If bullying does occur, all club members or parents should be able to inform about bullying and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING club. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the Club Welfare Officer or any committee member. What Is Bullying? Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim. Bullying can be:

  • Emotional (being unfriendly, sending hurtful text messages, tormenting, (e.g. hiding football boots/shin guards, threatening gestures)
  • Physical (pushing, kicking, hitting, punching)
  • Racist (any use of violence racial taunts, graffiti, gestures)
  • Sexual (unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments)
  • Homophobic (because of, or focussing on the issue of sexuality)
  • Verbal (sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing or name-calling)
  • Cyber bullying (This can take the form of any of the above on line or by mobile phone. It can appear on web sites such as Facebook, You Tube, Twitter and other social media)

Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying? Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Individuals who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving. This club has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying. Objectives of this Policy

  • All club members, coaches, officials and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.
  • All, club members, officials and coaching staff should know what the club policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported.
  • All players and parents should know what the club policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.
  • As a club we take bullying seriously. Players and parents should be assured that they would be supported when bullying is reported. Bullying will not be tolerated.

Signs and Indicators A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:

    ·  says he or she is being bullied ·  is unwilling to go to club sessions ·  becomes withdrawn, anxious, or lacking in confidence ·  feels ill before training sessions ·  comes home with clothes torn or training equipment damaged ·  has possessions go “missing” ·  asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay the bully) ·  has unexplained cuts or bruises ·  is frightened to say what’s wrong ·  gives improbable excuses for any of the above

In more extreme cases:

  • starts stammering
  • cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
  • becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
  • is bullying other children or siblings
  • stops eating
  • attempts or threatens suicide or runs away

These signs and behaviours may indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated Procedures

  1. Report bullying incidents to the Club Welfare Officer, Club Chairman, Team Coach, Head Coach or a member of the club’s executive committee.
  2. In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be referred by the club to Devon FA and Club Welfare Officer for advice and possibly to the FA Case Management System.
  3. Parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem
  4. If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted, but this will only be appropriate in the most serious of cases.
  5. The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly
  6. An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour
  7. If mediation fails and the bullying is seen to continue the club will initiate disciplinary action under the club procedures.

Club Actions If the club decides it is appropriate for us to deal with the situation we will follow the procedure outlined below. 1)  Reconciliation by getting the parties together. It may be that a genuine apology solves the problem. 2)  If this fails/not appropriate a panel of 3 club officials (made up from Club Welfare Officer(s), Chairman, and another executive committee member(s)) should meet with the parent and child alleging bullying to get details of the allegation. Minutes should be taken for clarity, which should be agreed by all as a true account. 3)  The same persons should meet with the alleged bully and parent/s and put the incident raised to them to answer and give their view of the allegation. Minutes should again be taken and agreed. 4)  If bullying has in their view taken place the individual should be warned and put on notice of further action i.e. temporary or permanent suspension if the bullying continues. Consideration should be given as to whether a reconciliation meeting between parties is appropriate at this time. 5)  In some cases the parent of the bully or bullied player can be asked to attend our football training sessions, if they are able to do so, and if appropriate. The club committee should monitor the situation for a given period to ensure the bullying is not being repeated. 6)  All coaches involved with both individuals should be made aware of the concerns and outcome of the process i.e. the warning. In the case of adults reported to be bullying anyone within the club under 18

  1. Devon County Football Association and The Club Welfare Officer should always be informed and will advise on action to be taken
  2. It is anticipated that in most cases where the allegation is made regarding a team manager, official or coach, The FA’s child protection and best practice awareness training may be recommended.
  3. More serious cases may be referred to the police, social services or judicial complaints procedure.


  •  The club has a written code of conduct, which includes what is acceptable and proper behaviour for all members of which the anti-bullying policy is one part
  •  All club members and parents will sign to accept the code upon annual registration
  •  The Club Welfare Officer will raise awareness about bullying and why it matters, and if issues of bullying arise in the club, will consider meeting with members to discuss the issue openly and constructively

This policy is based on guidance provided by KIDSCAPE. KIDSCAPE is a voluntary organisation committed to help prevent child bullying. KIDSCAPE can be contacted on 0207 730 3300 or you can access their website via