HEALTH & SAFETY
Health and Safety Policy - written March 2016 to be revised in March 2021
Aireborough Gymnastics Club will take all reasonable steps to provide a safe and healthy environment for all our gymnasts, coaches and visitors. And as a BG affiliated organisation we endeavour to ensure our health and safety policies are in line with their guidelines.
The club's directors have overall responsibility for implementing and reviewing the policy.
Charlotte Barker will be the club's designated health and safety officer and will ensure the club's policies are adhered to and raise any issues which need addressing.
Insurance - The club will always hold appropriate levels of insurance for our members, coaches, public liability through BG and a separate equipment insurance policy.
Coaches - To create a safe environment in the gym coaches will be suitably qualified and coach within their qualification, with a level 2( or above) coach leading each session and assistant coaches always supervised.
The health and safety of the participants is paramount and therefore the activities and equipment must be safe.
Coaches will always be DBS checked, hold BG membership and have completed a safeguarding course.
The ratio of gymnasts to coach will be kept at a safe level, depending on age, ability, experience (of both coaches and gymnasts) and equipment available. As a guide -16 for a full coach and 8 for an assistant.
There should be at least two responsible adults in the gym wherever possible.
The coach should carry out his duties with reasonable skill and care, and in a professional manner. Best coaching practices are employed at all times.
The prudent and caring coach - the caring coach will ensure the following principles are upheld:
clear and adequate instructions
suitably trained and coached for the activity
participants dressed appropriately
participants in good health
Medical advice sought following an injury. Accident book kept up to date.
Coaches must be accessible and never leave the premises during a lesson.
Ratios - Dependent on the age and ability of the group but as a guideline 1:16 for a full coach and 1:8 for an assistant
Lead Coach - The lead coach at each session is responsible for the health and safety of gymnasts and staff in their class.
They will ensure:
the equipment risk assessment is completed before each session
The fire door is clear
The gym is well lit, heated and ventilated.
Registers have been taken
All our gymnasts have read and signed our gym club rules.
BG Club Management - one of our directors is to complete this course in 2016
Volunteers - Check local bye laws re using children under 14 as volunteers.
Covid-19: Please only send your gymnast to training if they are fully fit. If they show any signs of Covid 19 - a temperature, cough, loss of taste or smell, sore throat etc then please let us know and keep them at home. If your gymnast has been in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19 again please let us know and do not send them to training. We will follow BG and Government guidelines on closing classes if there is any risk of spreading the virus between our gymnasts / coaches.
Coaches and gymnasts will stay 2m apart from each other during the class
Safe participation - Gymnasts should only participate at a level which is safe for them to do so; appropriate physical preparation should be part of their training; a positive attitude and work ethic should be developed; training hours should be sensitive to to the needs of the gymnast outside of the gym.
BG recommends that training sessions for children under 8 do not last longer than 2 hours. Gymnasts aged 6 and under should only compete internally, 7 year olds up to county level, 8 year olds regionally, and only when they are 9 years can they compete nationally.
Gymnasts with disabilities - Where possible we will endeavour to provide the opportunities for gymnasts with disabilities to take part in our classes.
We will discuss their individual needs with parents and carers and see if we can meet them. Children with Downs Syndrome must be medically screened for Atlanto-Axial Instability before taking part. (seek further guidance from BG). Participants with dwarfism should also seek advice as the Dwarf Sports Association recommends they do not take part in gymnastics skills which involve repeated jumping and rebounding, and those which hyper extend the spine.
Medical conditions - Gymnasts presenting with a medical condition not connected to a disability must seek advice through their GP to ensure the activity will not have a detrimental effect on their well being eg: pregnancy, detaching retina, rodded back, brittle bones etc
Clothing - Gymnasts and coaches must always be dressed appropriately.
gymnasts must wear clothing that does not impede movement, but also is not too loose to constitute a hazard. (Always encourage our members to wear our club kit).
gymnasts - Bare feet/gym shoes. Coaches - trainers
hair fastened up
aware of the risks or wearing glasses - use sports bands or flexible frames where possible.
SAFETY in coaching
Preparation - the importance of the physical and psychological preparation of the gymnast is of prime importance to facilitate the safe learning of skills - appropriate strength and flexibility required.
Spotting and supporting - Coaches must be able to offer safe supporting and ready to provide emergency support.
Progressive learning - carefully selected progressions should be consolidated for all gymnastic moves.
Suitable apparatus - check apparatus for height, width, stability. Ensure safe landing surfaces.
Safe landings - correct landing techniques should be taught and encouraged.
Flexibility/stretching - See welfare
Weight training - do not use 'free weight' training with gymnasts until after puberty. Where possible the gymnasts own body mass will be sufficient.
Overuse and growth related injuries - The need for frequent and repetitive practise means gymnasts are susceptible to overuse injuries. To reduce this use a varied programme of activities and be observant of the growth patterns of gymnasts. Be sensitive to signs of soreness and pain and seek medical advice.
Fatigue - Coaches must be conscious of the onset of fatigue during training as it may impact performance and increase the risk of injury.
Annual risk assessment - An annual risk assessment will be completed of the club's equipment to identify items which may need repairing or replacing over the coming year.
An assessment will also be completed of the main building to make sure it is meeting the needs of our club and identify areas which may need bringing to the landlord's attention.
Each session - Every session the lead coach will complete a risk assessment of the apparatus, to ensure the fire door is clear, the first aider is on site and that registers have been taken.
Covid-19: Due to the long closure, risk assessments will be done to ensure the facility is fit for use and no damage has be caused in the vacant period. Due to the increased cleaning schedule and needing higher performance cleaning products, a COSHH risk assessment and inventory registry will be done.
The apparatus will be checked each session for wear and tear and any problems will be reported to the lead coach. The session risk assessment should highlight any problems.
Any pieces of equipment deemed unsafe will be condemned until it can be repaired.
Apparatus will be erected, moved and dismantled by a qualified coach.
Apparatus should be adjusted in height and width to suit the participants.
Safety matting should always be available for use. And coaches and gymnasts should be vigilant of gaps appearing between mats.
First Aid - There will be a dedicated first aider at each session. There will be access to a first aid box, ice, and children's medical forms at each session. The first aid box will be restocked and checked regularly. Accidents will be recorded in the accident book. Parents will be informed either verbally or by phone.
Covid-19 First aid: Our coaches are first aid trained. If there is an injury coaches will use gloves, mask and apron before touching a gymnast.
The lead coach will keep a phone in the gym to contact parents or emergency services.
Fire - Procedures to follow if there was a fire will be displayed within the club. Fire exits are clearly marked. The fire exit is always clear. The fire alarm system is linked to the fire brigade.
Cleaning - The toilets will be cleaned before each session. Reminders to wash hands are displayed and soap and dryers and provided.
The kitchen is cleaned regularly with cleaning products kept in here out of reach of children.
Drinking water is provided.
The gym will be hoovered regularly and the mats and equipment cleaned termly or as required. Anti bacterial cleaners kept in the kitchen to clean any accidents immediately.
Covid-19: Our gym, toilet and changing room will be thoroughly cleaned each day.
In between each evening session we will wipe down the most frequently used hard surfaces.
The toilet will be sprayed and wiped down after every gymnast - please try make sure your gymnast goes to the toilet before you set off to training as this cleaning takes one of our coaches out of the gym area.
Gymnasts will be asked to sanitise their hands before entering the gym and there will be buckets of hand wipes in each area of the gym.
We will remind them to use them regularly.
Please get them to wash their hands before leaving home and then when you get them home please wash them again and put all kit in the wash!
Masks - gymnasts are not required to wear masks. Coaches are not required under BG guidance to wear masks unless there is a chance they have to break social distancing requirements.
Ventilation - while the weather permits we will open the front roller shutter door to allow fresh air to circulate. We are looking into the possibility of a ventilation unit.
Safeguarding Policy - written March 2016 to be revised March 2017
Aireborough Gymnastics Club aims to provide high quality gymnastics training in a safe and friendly environment.
This policy aims to give our club and coaches guidance on how to protect the children in our care and how to help children they suspect may be under threat of abuse.
This policy is the first port of call for our coaches for further support we will seek help from the British
Gymnastics Safeguarding Policy.
Coaching staff - All our coaches will be DBS checked, have attended safeguarding courses, be BG
registered and will hold relevant coaching qualifications. These will be updated as necessary.
The exception to this are: one off volunteers at fundraisers/ events etc, who will be adults known to the
club and will be signed in and out; and young people attending the club for work experience.
Recruitment - Any new coaches employed from within the club will be DBS checked, be BG registered
and have suitable qualifications before starting work. References may be requested.
Any coaches sought externally will be asked to fill in an application form and given a job description.
They will be interviewed and asked for references. Verification: checks will be completed on applicant's
identity, DBS, right to work in UK and qualifications.
Coaches will be offered regular feedback on their coaching either through mentoring during training
sessions or through coaches meetings.
Welfare Officer - The club will have a dedicated welfare officer, who is independent of the coaching
staff. This officer will have attended the safeguarding and Time To Listen courses, be BG registered and
DBS checked. They will assist is updating the safeguarding policy annually. The officer's details will be
on display within the club.
Registration - All new members are required to fill out a registration and consent form. This will include
medical details. Members must be registered with BG. At the beginning of each session gymnasts must
be signed in by an adult, who must leave an emergency contact number, and signed out at the end.
1. Reporting suspicions of abuse- Any coach who suspects any form of abuse will be advised to:
listen carefully to the child, do not interrupt. Do not ask probing questions. Do not dismiss their concerns.
write down the information as soon as possible, in the words used by the child and yourself, to the best
of your memory. Time and date it. Fill in a 'safeguarding incident recording form'
Note anything else about the child which may be connected ie injuries, crying.
Reassure the child they have done the right thing in telling you. Explain that you will have to pass the
information on to someone who can help, and do not promise to keep information a secret.
Hand the information as soon as possible to the welfare officer. The welfare officer will decide on how to
take the matter further ie through reporting to BG, Social Services, Police. Discussions with parents will
take place if they are not implicated in the abuse.
Do not discuss the information with other members of staff.
2. Responding to abuse or poor practice during training - If an act of abuse or serious poor practice
is seen in the gym the lead coach or welfare officer will approach the subject immediately and instruct
them to stop. Depending on the issue the subject may be asked to leave until they can be spoken to
formally, or the police may be called.
3.Bullying - our club operates a zero tolerance policy to bullying, and recognises that bullying could
come from gymnast, coach or parent. Gymnasts are encouraged to speak out and share concerns with
the lead coach about bullying.
Bullies will be spoken to and it will be explained how their actions are hurting someone else, they will be
asked to apologise, their parents informed and disciplinary action taken if necessary. All disciplinary
actions should be recorded.
Spotting and manual support - Supporting and shaping the gymnast is an essential part of coaching
gymnasts. However the coach must ensure the support is only used when necessary and 'over handling'
is avoided. Supporting techniques must not inhibit performance. Physical contact should not be invasive
of sensitive areas of the body.
The lead coach will keep a constant check on supporting techniques. Any concerns will be raised with
the coach and passed on to the welfare officer.
Flexibility/stretching - As a club we do not often use stretching techniques that involve the application
of force. But on the rare occasions the guidelines are: use slow and progressive stretches rather than
excessive force. Avoid exercises that place the gymnast and coaches bodies in close proximity. Use
gymnast partner exercises where possible.
Open training environment - Our club has very little space to offer parents a place to watch. But we will
never refuse a request from parents to come in and see what is going on, especially new parents who
wish to get a feel for the club. Where possible we will hold open days and displays. We will have regular
communication with parents verbally and written.
There is a window from which parents can see into one of the main parts of the gym.
Communication - Mobile phones will not be used in the gym except for club related matters,
emergencies and time keeping. Coaches will contact gymnasts under the age of 16 through their
In the event of a gymnast showing a coach a text message or image that is considered inappropriate the
coach must inform the welfare officer.
Changing Facilities - Gymnasts are asked to come changed ready for gymnastics so that they only
have to take shoes, socks, joggers and jumpers off etc. There is a separate area for boys and girls to
leave their belongings. The toilet is for children only. Parents waiting for the length of the session are
asked to wait in an area separate to the changing room and toilet area.
Ratios - Classes are kept below 30 with ratios based on 1-12 for a full coach and 1-8 for a qualified
Children with special needs /disabilities - discussions with parents wil determine whether we as a club
can meet the needs of the child within our classes. If the child needs one-one support we will discuss
whether we can meet this need as a club or whether a parent/carer needs to be in the gym.
Filming and Photography - Parents who wish to take photographs or film at any of our club events
must have filled in and handed in a photography form. Parents will be requested not to post photographs
of our gymnasts on social media. Parental premission will be sought for photographs to be posted on our
own closed group facebook page, or for local media.
Photographs will not be published/printed without written consent from the parent. No other information
other than their name and club should accompany publsihed photos. Editing of images which might
cause embarassment or distress will be avoided. Care must be taken that images of children who are
under a court order are not recorded or published without permission. Advice from BG will be sought with
regards to live streaming - pre recording is recommended.
Parental consent will be sought before taking photos for training/ promotional purposes.
Transporting gymnasts - Coaches are not to transport gymnasts alone on car journeys except in
unforeseen circumstances. To help alleviate transport problems: make parents aware that is their
responsibility to get gymnasts to training/competitions; encourage parents to car share; transport
gymnasts in groups.
In exceptional circumstances; seek consent from parents, seat the gymnast in the back of the car, inform
the welfare officer.
Late collection of children - In the event that a parent is late picking up a gymnast. Coaches must call
the parent (from the sign in sheet) to seek guidance on what they want to do eg consent for another
parent to take them home. Coaches must never leave a gymnast alone waiting to be picked up. Coaches
must not ask the gymnast to wait alone in a vehicle with them. Do not take the child home or to another
location. Attempt to contact another family member from the registration sheet.
If no one can be reached contact the local police or children's social care services.
Persistant failure to collect a gymnast on time - Parents who persistantly fail to collect a child on time,
and have given no prior notice may be failing to provide adequate care for the child. The welfare officer
and a lead coach should meet with the parent to discuss further. If there is no change the welfare officer
will need to speak to Children's Social Care Services and BG.
If a parent arrives to collect a child and there is concern over the parent's ability to take care of the child
ie; thought to be under the influence of drink/drugs the club should seek advice from the police or
children's social care services.
Missing children - In the unlikely event that a child goes missing from the gym. Ensure the other
children are appropriately looked after while the search for the missing child is conducted. Inform the
missing child's parents, organise all available responsible adults into searching certain areas and report
back. Take notes as to when they were last seen and a physical description. Report to the police within
30 minutes. Report to welfare and BG.
Events and Trips - Factors to consider when taking gymnasts to events/competitions. If the event is
local arrange for everyone to meet there. If the club is transporting gymnasts to an event further away:
obtain contact numbers for parents; written consents from parents; check on drving licenses, insurance,
mots; booster seats and seatbelts; organise pick up and drop off points; plan routes and breaks.
For events with overnight stays refer to BGs safeguarding policy for detailed advice.
(Attached to this policy is the BG Safeguarding Policies should any coaches need further support and a
list of good practise safeguarding tips that are to be read by our coaches.)
Complaints Policy - written March 2016 to be revised March 2017
The majority of issues raised by parents at AGC are concerns rather than complaints but we are committed at AGC to take these concerns seriously at the earliest stage in the hope of keeping the number of formal complaints to a minimum. Our complaints procedure aims to diffuse problems and provide the
club with helpful information.
Concerns are to be treated as constructive suggestions and can be used to improve standards and prevent cause for further complaint.
However depending on the nature of the complaint we may need to follow a more formal complaints procedure.
The procedure has 3 main stages:
1. A concern raised informally with a coach.
These can often be dealt informally with an immediate response, which will
resolve the issue. Sometimes the concern may need looking into and parents will be spoken to at the next session. The vast majority of concerns will be satisfactorily dealt with in this way. The lead coach should always be informed and involved in any parents' concerns. If parents are not happy with the outcome AGC will look at the complaint at the next stage.
2. A formal complaint addressed to the director/welfare officer.
Formal complaints should be put in writing to the director/welfare officer.
Complaints will be logged, dated and records kept of all meetings. The
complainant will receive a response that the complaint is being investigated and any action taken to resolve the issue. The aim will be to resolve the issue as soon as possible. If the complainant is not happy with the outcome the complaint will
move to stage 3.
3. The complaint should be lodged with British Gymnastics.
As our governing body BG will hear complaints that cannot be resolved internally and will deal with appropriately. The BG investigation is the last stage of our club's
Behaviour Policy - updated Sept 2016
In order to help our classes to be as productive and as enjoyable as possible for all our gymnasts and coaches we adhere to the following behaviour policy.
Any gymnast displaying inappropriate behaviour* during a class will be asked by the coach in charge of the group to improve their behaviour. If this fails to work the lead coach in charge of the class will be informed and will speak to the gymnast about their behaviour, and explain why it is important to behave properly in the gym.
After two warnings the gymnast will be asked to sit out until the coach thinks they are ready to join back in the session. Parents will be informed either verbally or by email if this happens.
If a gymnast has to be sat out of a session on a regular basis parents will receive an email to warn them that if the behaviour does not improve their gymnast will lose their place at the club. In the event that this still does not work a second email will be sent to inform them that their place has been withdrawn.
*Inappropriate behaviour - We understand this to mean - fighting, name calling, not listening, playing on equipment that is not part of their training, disrupting other gymnasts’ training, attempting moves unsafely, disrespecting coaches, disrespecting the equipment.
If your gymnast is having any behavioural problems out of the gym that we should know about, please speak to Jo or Charlotte so we can discuss with you any issues which may arise.
Similarly if your gymnast mentions having any problems with other children in the gym please mention it to us so we can deal with it effectively.