Safeguarding at Rosslyn Park FC – Concussion and head injuries
At Rosslyn Park we have been assiduous about applying the post head injury/ concussion protocols as advocated by the Rugby Football Union. We have been very fortunate to have had the services of Dr Katy Hornby who has been one of the clinical leads and advisors to the RFU in this regard. Not only has she been our pitch-side doctor she has also overseen our post-concussion and return to play protocols based on the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT). She has also led concussion assessment seminars at Park for physios and health care professionals for local clubs.
Concussion in children presents a different problem. Full contact rugby is not permitted below the age of 9 and then gradually implemented. It is generally accepted that most concussions occur in the tackle situation and more frequently in the tackler.
It is inevitable that there will be head injuries of varying degrees and our role is to ensure that these are appropriately managed. At Park, we are blessed with a very experienced group of coaches who carefully monitor such injuries and will and sure that if there is any doubt of a player young player suffering any concussion type injury, they are withdrawn immediately and observed. Parents are then informed of the situation and are advised to monitor their child’s condition over the following week and then a standard graduated return to play protocol is introduced. Fortunately, there have been very few, if any, (“if any” suggests there may have been none and/or that we don’t really know. If we know that there have been cases then I would leave it as “very few”); instances of concussion in our minis to date.
Rosslyn Park Minis & Youth Safeguarding Bulletin September 2020
The latest advice from Andy Mathias, Safeguarding Officer, Rosslyn Park Football Club is published in the RPFC Safeguarding Bulletin September 2020 published here, and should be read by all RPFC age group coaches, parent volunteers and parents.
Rosslyn Park runs regular Safeguarding courses for the Minis and Youth section. The next course is scheduled for September 2020.
The policy adopted by Rosslyn Park draws on the best practice laid out by the RFU Safeguarding Team – details of the latest sport-wide policy are available in the RFU Policy Document.
Rosslyn Park Safeguarding Policy
1. Rosslyn Park Football Club (RPFC acknowledges its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children involved in Rosslyn Park from harm.
2. RPFC 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. RPFC 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. RPFC recognises that this is the responsibility of everyone involved, in whatever capacity, at the club.
6. RPFC will implement and comply with the RFU Code of Conduct and the Codes of Conduct for Coaches, Spectators and Officials as appropriate.
7. The Club Safeguarding Officer is Andrew Mathias (email@example.com). 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 current Minis or Youth Chairman and either the CB Safeguarding Manager or the RFU Safeguarding Team.
8. All members of RPFC who work with children in Regulated Activity must undertake an RFU Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check in accordance with RFU Regulation 21.
9. RPFC 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 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.
11. RPFC 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. RPFC 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.
12. RPFC will ensure that its 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.
13. Any events held on RPFC 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 RPFC must comply with the relevant RFU Regulations and Guidance relating to tours.
For further information or to contact the Rosslyn Park Safeguarding Officer please use the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org