Thu 04 Nov 2021 21:04

Safeguarding at Basingstoke Rugby Club

“Effective safeguarding arrangements in every local area should be underpinned by two key principles:
• safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility: for services to be effective each professional and organisation should play their full part; and
• a child-centred approach: for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children.”
(Working Together to Safeguard Children - HM Government, 2020)

Statement of intent

Basingstoke Rugby Football Club acknowledges its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children involved in our club from harm.

Basingstoke RFC confirms that it adheres to the Rugby Football Union’s Safeguarding Policy and the procedures, practices and guidelines and endorse and adopt the Policy Statement contained in that document and any successor policy. Information about RFU Safeguaring can be found here:

Safeguarding Children

A copy of the RFU Safeguarding Policy Booklet can be found here -  Download

(RFU Welfare Policy and Guidelines set out how organisations and individuals should work together to achieve this aim and include RFU Anti-bullying and Social Media and Photographic policies)


1. A child is anyone under the age of 18 engaged in any rugby union activity. However, where a 17-year-old male player is playing in the adult game it is essential that every reasonable precaution is taken to ensure his safety and wellbeing are protected.

2. The Key Principles of the RFU Safeguarding Policy are that:

  • The welfare of the child is, and must always be, paramount to any other considerations.
  • All participants regardless of age, gender, ability or disability, race, faith, culture, size, shape, language or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse or harm.
  • All allegations or suspicions of abuse, neglect, harm and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly and appropriately.
  • Working in partnership with other organisations, statutory agencies, parents, carers, children and young people is essential for the welfare of children.
  • Children have a right to expect support, and personal and social development delivered by an appropriately recruited, vetted and managed in relation to their participation in rugby union, whether they are playing, volunteering or officiating in the community or professional areas of the sport.

“Paid and volunteer staff need to be aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, how they should respond to child protection concerns and make a referral to Local Authority children’s services or the police if necessary.”
(Working Together March 2018, page 63, paragraph 43)

3. Basingstoke RFC recognises that all children have the right to participate in sport in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment whilst at the same time being protected from abuse, neglect, harm and poor practice.

Basingstoke RFC recognises that this is the responsibility of everyone involved, in whatever capacity, at the club.

All coaches and volunteers working with children and young people at our club are made aware of good safeguarding practices and any poor practices are addressed immediately.
It is EVERYONE’S responsibility at Basingstoke RFC to report concerns.  

4. As a club we abide by the RFU’s CORE VALUES:

The RFU, in partnership with Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players Association, promotes the Core Values to everyone from the England team to those in the grassroots game. The Core Values are reflected throughout its policies.

If you need reminding about why our children enjoy rugby and sport and how they would like the adults around them to behave please take a look at the following video clip:

My Parents are Ugly!  (

Basingstoke RFC will implement and comply with the RFU Code of Conduct and the Codes of Conduct for Coaches, Spectators and Officials as appropriate.

5. The Club Safeguarding Team consists of:

Sarah Whatmore (Club Safeguarding Officer) – Tel: 07778 934468

Ian Fletcher (Youth Disciplinary Officer) – Tel: 07747 0750175.

If you witness or are aware of an incident where the welfare of a child has been put at risk you must, in the first instance, inform the Club Safeguarding Officer. They will then inform the CB Safeguarding Manager and the RFU Safeguarding Team. If an incident involves the Club Safeguarding Officer you should inform the Club Chair and either the CB Safeguarding Manager or the RFU Safeguarding Team.

6. All Basingstoke RFC volunteers who work with children in Regulated Activity must undertake an RFU Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check in accordance with RFU Regulation 21.

All new volunteers must also complete the RFU Volunteer Application Form  Download and online Safeguarding Awareness course as part of Basingstoke RFC's safer recruitment process. Following this they must attend the RFU Play it Safe course within 6 months of starting their role. Information about these courses can be found here.

7. Basingstoke RFC will ensure that all its members, whether they are coaches, parents, players or officials will comply with the Best Practice Guidance as issued by the RFU. In summary, the following are NOT acceptable and will be treated seriously by the club and may result in disciplinary action being taken by the club, the CB or the RFU:

  • Working on spending time alone with a child.
  • Consuming alcohol whilst responsible for children.
  • Providing alcohol to children or allowing its supply.
  • Smoking in the presence of children.
  • Humiliating children.
  • Inappropriate or unnecessary physical contact with a child.
  • Participating in, or allowing, contact or physical games with children.
  • Having an intimate or sexual relationship with any child developed as a result of being in a ‘position of trust.’
  • Making sexually explicit comments or sharing sexually explicit material.

8. Basingstoke RFC ALWAYS manages the changing facilities and arranges for them to be supervised by two DBS checked adults of the appropriate gender for the players using the facilities. Basingstoke RFC ensures that all its coaches, parents, officials and spectators are aware that adults must not change at the same time, using the same facilities as children.



9. We strongly recommend that BRFC coaches DO NOT participate in communication with children on social networking sites or by personal or frequent e-mail/text messaging. Contact with players should always be via (or copied to) their parent or carer. BRFC has also developed a Social Media Policy for all adults and children to be aware of.

10. Basingstoke RFC will ensure that its volunteers, coaches and team managers will receive the support and training considered appropriate to their position and role. The RFU “Managing Challenging Behaviour” Policy has been adopted and circulated amongst the club workforce both, voluntary and paid.

11. Any events held on Basingstoke RFC premises must comply with this Policy and if appropriate a Safeguarding Plan should be discussed and circulated to those affected. Any tours, overseas or domestic, undertaken by Basingstoke RFC must comply with the relevant RFU Regulations and Guidance relating to tours.

Safeguarding Code of Conduct

In the interest of maintaining child welfare it is important to adhere to the following rules when applicable:

  • All rugby coaches must respect the rights, dignity and worth of every child and young person with whom they work with and treat them equally within the context of rugby union.
  • All rugby coaches must place the physical and emotional wellbeing of all young players above all other considerations, including the development of performance.
  • The relationship that a rugby coach develops with the players with whom they work must be based on mutual trust and respect.
  • All rugby coaches must ensure that all activities undertaken are appropriate to the age, maturity, experience and ability of the young players.
  • All rugby coaches must encourage young players to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance.

You can also download a copy of this policy below.

Basingstoke RFC Safeguarding policy - Download

RFU Volunteer Application  Download

RFU Safeguarding Policy -  Download

RFU Codes of practice -  Download

Safeguarding Poster - Download

Rugby Safe - Download

RFU Advice for children - Download

Parents Booklet - Download