SPWTC Safeguarding Policy 2018


St Paul’s Walden Tennis Club (SPWTC) acknowledges the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults at risk and is committed to ensuring safeguarding practice reflects the statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice and Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) requirements. This includes due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into extremism and terrorism (the Prevent Duty).


The policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children and adults at risk are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, gender, religion or beliefs, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, all children and adults at risk

have a positive and enjoyable experience of tennis at SPWTC in a safe and where appropriate child centred environment

are protected from abuse whilst participating in tennis and related activities provided by SPWTC


SPWTC acknowledges that some children, young people and adults can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and we accept responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare.


As part of our safeguarding policy SPWTC will:

  • promote and prioritise the safety and well being of children, young people and adults at risk
  • ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate learning opportunities to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children, young people and adults at risk
  • ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support provided to the individual(s) who raise or disclose the concern
  • ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored
  • prevent the employment / deployment of unsuitable individuals (whether paid or volunteers)
  • ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation
  • SWPTC is committed to everyone having the right to enjoy tennis in an environment free from threat of intimidation, harassment and abuse


The policy and procedures will be widely promoted and are mandatory for everyone involved in SPWTC. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in exclusion from the Club. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility: not responding to a safeguarding concern is not an option.


The policy will be reviewed every three years or sooner if there is a change in legislation or government guidance, if required by the Local Safeguarding Children Board, UK Sport or the LTA.


Reporting Procedures

Anyone who is concerned about the well being of a child/adult at risk, or has a disclosure of abuse or neglect made to them must:

  • RESPOND – listen carefully to what the person is telling you. Do not interrupt; keep questions to a minimum and do not promise to keep the information secret
  • REFER – inform the Club’s Designated Welfare & Safeguarding Officer (DSO) JEAN HOWE on 07836 293725.
  • If someone is in immediate danger call the police (999), then talk to the LTA Safeguarding Team (020 8487 7000) as soon as possible or call the NSPCC (0808 900 5000) [if your concern is about an adult then ask them (NSPCC) for details of our Local Authority Adult Social Care Service].
  • RECORD – write an objective account of your concerns immediately using the Reporting a Concern Form (available from SPWTC website).


Safe Code of Conduct (LTA and NSPCC)

  • Be a positive role model.
  • Help to create a safe and inclusive environment both on and off the court and promote the Fair Play values: enjoy, respect.
  • Treat all children with equal concern and with respect and dignity
  • Value and celebrate diversity
  • Check you have the relevant consent from parents/ carers, children and adults before taking or using photos and videos
  • Where possible do not be alone with a child or adult at risk
  • Create and maintain an anti-bullying environment
  • Be mindful of e-safety and social media
  • Do not allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged
  • Ensure that if any form of manual / physical support is required (e.g. coaching) that it is provided openly and according to the child’s needs
  • It is not your role to decide if abuse has occurred but to report any concerns to the appropriate authority (Designated Safeguarding Officer, Chair and/ or LTA) or at least another Club member.


Types of Abuse

There are four types of abuse formally recognised by the document ‘Cooperating to Safeguard Children 2003’:-

1. Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is the deliberate physical injury to a child, or the wilful or neglectful failure to prevent physical injury or suffering. This may include hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, confinement to a room or cot, or inappropriately giving drugs to control behaviour.


2. Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may involve causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child, though it may occur alone. Domestic violence, adult mental health problems and parental substance misuse may expose children to emotional abuse.


3. Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at or the production of pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.


4. Neglect

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s physical, emotional and/or psychological needs, likely to result in significant harm. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate foods, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, failing to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment, lack of stimulation or lack of supervision. It may also include non-organic failure to thrive (faltering growth).


Indicators of abuse

The following is a list of some indicators of abuse, but it is not exhaustive:


  • Unexplained bruising in soft tissue areas
  • Repeated injuries
  • Black eyes
  • Injuries to the mouth
  • Torn or bloodstained clothing
  • Burns or scalds
  • Bites
  • Fractures
  • Marks from implements
  • Inconsistent stories/excuses relating to injuries


  • Unexplained changes in behaviour - becoming withdrawn or aggressive
  • Difficulty in making friends
  • Distrustful of adults or excessive attachment to adults
  • Sudden drop in performance
  • Changes in attendance pattern
  • Inappropriate sexual awareness, behaviour or language
  • Reluctance to remove clothing


Responding to disclosure of abuse




  • Record what has been said as soon as possible
  • Remain sensitive and calm
  • Reassure child/ person that they
  • are safe
  • were right to tell
  • are not to blame
  • are being taken seriously
  • Let child/ person talk - do not interview
  • Listen and hear, give the child/ person time to say what they want
  • Ensure a positive experience
  • Explain that you must tell, but will maintain confidentiality
  • Tell child/ person what will happen next
  • Involve appropriate individuals immediately
  • Stay calm
  • Reassure child/ person that they have done the right thing in telling and that it will be dealt with appropriately




  • Question unless for clarification
  • Make promises you cannot keep
  • Rush into actions that may be inappropriate
  • Make/pass a judgment on alleged abuser
  • Take sole responsibility, consult the designated officer so you can begin to protect the child/ person and gain support for yourself


Equality Statement

SPWTC is committed to ensuring that equity is incorporated across all aspects of its development

 “Sports equity is about fairness in sport, equality of access, recognising inequalities and taking steps to address them. It is about changing the culture and structure of sport to ensure it becomes equally accessible to everyone in society.” Taken from Sport Northern Ireland

SPWTC is committed to everyone having the right to enjoy tennis in an environment free from threat of intimidation, harassment and abuse. All club members have a responsibility to oppose discriminatory behaviour and promote equality of opportunity.



This document was based on a template from the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU), with additional material from documentation from the LTA, NSPCC and Sport Northern Ireland.


SPWTC October 2018