November 05, 2020

Swim Ireland is delighted to launch our 2019-2020 seasonal Safeguarding Report – Setting the Standards for Keeping Young People Safe in our Sport.

A lot has been achieved in the past year and, as outlined in our 2017-2021 Strategy, we continue to strive to lead in the area of safeguarding, and making our sports safe and secure environments for all participants.

In the past 12 months we have fully updated our Safeguarding Policies, with copies provided to all Club Children’s Officers. An Athlete Ethical Framework has been developed, Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures updated, and a new online Aquatic Parent Programme released.

A total of 6793 members have completed Safeguarding level 1 training, 5097 members have valid vetting acceptance, and 402 members have attended 10 Club Children's Officer (CCO) Forums to update and upskill.

While there have been many achievements, we also recognise the issues. Some of the worries and concerns Swim Ireland staff and volunteers have supported young people with this year include:

1. Behaviour issues - including minor codes of conduct breaches to allegations of bullying behaviour.

2. Serious offences - which have been managed with statutory authorities supporting the young people involved.

3. Mental and physical health issues - managed through ensuring correct support is available for the young person.

Speaking on the launch Swim Ireland Head of Safeguarding, Ethics and Youth Development Kate Hills said: "We look upon our progress as an achievement, without forgetting the importance of all we, as staff and volunteers, will carry on doing to implement the best standards of safeguarding and well-being for young people in our sport.

"Despite the restrictions we have faced over the past eight months, our Club Children’s Officers are as engaged as ever, and the launch of our online Aquatic Parent Programme has been a great success. We continue to engage with young people directly, supporting and guiding them through these difficult times."

There is always more; more to build on, more to accomplish, more to listen to, and with this in mind this Safeguarding Report 2019-2020 becomes a benchmark for all to see where we are now, and the impetus to keep striving to do even better for young people.

READ FULL REPORT HERE: Swim Ireland Safeguarding Report 2019-2020