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Social Media Policy Staff

 

Staines Swimming Club - social media policy for coaches, teachers and staff


Some of the information contained here is directly lifted from the ASA wave power policy
document.


There are a number of reasons for this information being collated into a policy document. The
club recognises that it is increasingly using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The club use of
these and other media forums is only likely to increase going forward.


These are important communication tools for the club and also serve to raise the profile of Staines
Swimming Club. As we seek and obtain sponsorship for the club, the more followers we have, the
more attractive we are to potential sponsors.


As a club we also recognise that the use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter,
for example is a rapidly growing phenomenon and is increasingly being used as a communication
tool of choice by young people and adults. Facebook is reported to have in excess of five hundred
million active users worldwide. A third of the UK population is reported to have a Facebook
account.


With social media comes a range of opportunities for promoting the club and the achievements of
it's swimmers in a positive way, unfortunately with social media also comes a range of different
problems, which parents, schools, and clubs have to manage.


The club has adopted Good Practice Guidelines on the use of Social Networking Sites by ASA
Clubs and Club Members which are laid out here. It is expected that all persons at the club having
a position of responsibility will read this document and having done so acknowledge and adhere to
the guidelines laid down within it.


Background
There has been a growing awareness in sport of the increasing communication by adults and
young people on the rapidly developing social networking sites and how this media has become a
feature of social communication. There are risks associated with these developments, and the ASA
has identified a number of issues that have led to both disciplinary and safeguarding concerns,
which stem from the improper or inappropriate use of such sites by its members.


These sites permit users to chat on line, post pictures, and write ‘blogs’ etc, through the creation of
an on-line profile, that can either be publicly available to all or restricted to an approved circle of electronic friends.


Whilst these technologies provide exciting opportunities, they are accompanied by dangers and
negative consequences if abused by users.


The purpose of this guidance is to provide a recommendation of best practice to all ASA
club members and parents on the use of social networking sites as they relate to that individual’s
role in the ASA club.


Guidance for coaches, teachers and other officers in a position of trust and responsibility in respect
of children in an ASA club Sites such as You Tube and Google provide a platform for uploading and
viewing video clips, which with the latest cameras and mobile phones becomes ever easier and
can be almost instantaneous.

 

In addition to these sites, Twitter is a social networking and micro blogging service that enables
users to send and read other user messages called tweets. Tweets are like online text messages
of up to a maximum of 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page. Tweets are publicly
visible by default however, the sender can restrict message delivery to their friends list only.


ASA members in a position of trust and/or responsibility should not be in contact with young people
through social networking sites if they hold such a position in respect of that individual young
person.


Should a young person in your club request to become a named friend on your social networking
site or request that you become a named friend on the young persons social networking site you
should decline if:


You are in a position of responsibility in respect of that child.
You hold a position of trust and responsibility in the club.
Your contact with the child is through an ASA club and the parent/guardian of the child does not
give their consent to such contact.
The social network site should never be used as a medium by which to abuse or criticise ASA
members or ASA clubs and to do so may be in breach of ASA Rules and Regulations.
The publishing of a photograph or video footage on a social networking site is governed by the
same requirements as those contained in the ASA Photography Policy.


Guidance to coaches who have children that swim in the club where they coach.


The issue has been raised that parents are becoming members of social networking sites that their
children sign up to for security reasons to ensure the wellbeing of their own child by being able to
view their child’s site. This will give the parent access via their child’s site to all children listed as
friends of their child. It would not be appropriate for the ASA to prevent a parent who is also a
coach in his/her child’s club from using this form of protection for their child’s online activities.
Therefore in such cases:


• The coach can have swimmers in the club on the site they are accessing, providing the ASA
under 18 year old club members on the site are listed as friends of the coach’s child;
• The coach concerned should not have direct contact with those swimmers through the social
networking site;
• The coach should not accept such swimmers as friends on their home site; and
• The coach should inform the Club Welfare Officer of this arrangement.
Coaches, teachers and officials who are under 18


The ASA recognise social networking sites can be a useful tool for teachers, coaches and officials
within ASA clubs to share information with other teachers, coaches or officials. If, however, the
teacher, coach or official is under the age of 16 while they may be a colleague, the requirements of
1 and 2 above must be adhered to.


If the young coach/official is aged 16 or 17 it is the view of the ASA that to restrict the ability to
share professional information with them from other coaches, teachers or officials may be
detrimental in their professional development in their role in the ASA.


Therefore, in such cases, if the parent of a young person in a position of responsibility aged 16/17
and the young person themselves requests to have contact with an adult club officer or coach for
the purposes of sharing professional information relevant to their role the club should:


• Gain written consent of the parent / guardian and young person to have such contact naming the
individual adult and social networking
site concerned.
• Ensure the named adult signs an agreement to keep the contact with the young person to
matters relevant to the young person’s professional role in the club.
• Ensure all such communications are shared with an identified 3rd person (e.g. the young
person’s parent / guardian or club Welfare Officer).
• Ensure that if the young person or the adult is found to be in breach, the above action must be
taken by the club to address the concern and / or the breach referred to the ASA or the statutory
agencies if appropriate.


Young Coaches aged 18 to 21


The ASA recognise that many young coaches aged 18 to 21 will have been swimmers before
becoming a coach and have been friends with their fellow swimmers, some of whom will be
between the ages of 16/17. It is therefore plausible they will have those swimmers contact details
and be friends on social media sites, and other methods of electronic communication.


For this purpose the ASA accepts it would be inappropriate to require such swimming friends to be
removed from their social media sites.

Therefore in such cases:


1. If a coach aged 18 to 21 had friends on their social networking site that were / are swimmers
aged 16/17 prior to undertaking the role of coach, the ASA do not expect them to remove those
swimmers from their listed friends.
2. In such circumstances the coach is advised to inform the club Welfare Officer and head coach.
3. The head coach should make every effort to ensure the coach is not the primary coach for those
specified young persons except on an occasional basis.


Please also see the attached link to the relevant wave power documents for further guidance and
advice should you need it;


http://www.swimming.org/assets/uploads/library/SocialNetworking_from_WavepowerSection2.pdf

Chris Gadd
Chairman
Staines Swimming Club