What sports clubs can do
If you’re a sports club, talk to the parents in your sport and encourage them to make the Promise.
We’d like sports organisations to help us promote the Sports Parents Promise on their social media feeds and their websites using hashtag #SportsParents. Please don't forget to let us know via Twitter how you are supporting the campaign.
Launching the Sports Parents Promise ahead of Parents in Sport Week allows summer sports to get involved too. If your sport only operates over the summer months, use this time to hold special 'make the promise' events or spread the word.
Here are a list actions that sports clubs can use to encourage parents to support their children positively.
Encourage positive sports parents
Parents play a pivotal role in sport. There are a number of ways that clubs and coaches can encourage their involvement in a way that benefits their child, as well as the rest of the team.
To get parents on board, you can:
- provide information about the club’s ethos, rules and expectations
- let parents know who to contact for information, feedback and offers of support
- communicate clear expectations of parents (including online behaviour), which they are required to sign up to – for example, a parents’ code of conduct
- inform parents about the expectations of coaches and participants
- develop relationships with parents to encourage their positive involvement and make use of their skills to support the club
- inform parents about processes to raise, discuss or report concerns or issues about which they're unhappy
- use a range of means to inform parents and young people about expected standards of behaviour, including induction information, meetings, leaflets, posters and newsletters
- provide reminders to parents that they are role models for their child and other children within the club
- communicate the message that sport is fun
Manage challenging parental behaviour
On the rare occasions you may face situations where you need to deal more directly with problematic parental behaviour.
In order to prevent poor behaviour that may arise in your club:
- promote the club's code of conduct for parents, so they know what behaviour is expected of them and the consequences of breaching this – and get this signed
- establish a well-publicised process to investigate and respond to concerns or complaints
- promote values such as respect and listening to each other throughout the club
- educate parents on what positive behaviour looks like
- encourage positive parental involvement as opposed to criticism
- model positive behaviour by coaches and officials within the club, such as encouraging fair play
- provide information for children and parents about who they can talk to if they have concerns
- have a designated safeguarding person other than the coach or referee
- provide support for the officials through assistants – this is particularly important in the case of young officials
- take advantage of support from the sport’s governing body
When prevention doesn't work
Sanctions should be identified and agreed by the management committee, and communicated to all parties. If poor behaviour persists, sanctions may include:
- monitoring behaviour by a club official, or welfare or safeguarding officer
- mediation between parents and staff with the involvement of the club welfare officer
- not allowing an individual to be court, pool or pitch-side during a match or matches
- barring an individual from attending at all – preferably by making alternative arrangements for their child to get to and from the club or venue
Every effort should be made to ensure that the behaviour of a parent does not result in either parent or their child being unable to participate, although in some extreme cases this may be the final resort.