Athletics NZ Child Safety and Member Welfare Update
Attention: Staff, Board, Committees, Members/Coaches/Clubs/Volunteers and Team Managers
Subject: Athletics NZ Child Safety and Member Welfare Update
Date: Monday 22nd February 2021
As you may be aware, Athletics NZ and the 11 Centres have made positive changes to help ensure a safe environment, including establishment of our Accredited Coach, Community Coach and Community Volunteer Memberships. More recently, with the support of our Centres, and following the 50-day consultation process, we have introduced the requirement for all Centre team managers and other official team support members to hold one of these three membership types – all of which include Police Vetting and Child Safety Education.
Athletics NZ recommend to all athletics members to preferentially engage with or utilise coaches who hold Athletics NZ Accredited Coach Membership or Community Coach Membership. We believe this is an important next step in ensuring we are doing all that is practical to promote the safety of our members. Athletics Auckland Board of Directors fully support Athletics New Zealand.
Athletics NZ have introduced the requirement for all team managers of and other official team support members (of all teams) to hold one of these three membership types – all of which include Police Vetting and Child Safety Education.
Some key elements of the Athletics NZ Accredited and Community Coach Memberships include:
- Accredited Coaches and Community Coach Members are police vetted at no cost to clubs, centres, coaches or athletes
- Accredited and Community Coach Members are required to undertake child safety education, which explains how to establish and maintain clear professional boundaries with children and young people in sport
- It establishes coaches as formal members of Athletics NZ, ensuring they are covered under our insurance and fall under the various regulations and policies
- Accredited and Community Coach Members sign the Athletics NZ Code of Conduct, agreeing to abide by behavioral guidelines within our sport
- It enables us, as the national organisation, to liaise directly with coaches to support their ongoing education and development needs
To view lists of the Accredited Coaches and Community Coach Members, use this link Member Welfare | Athletics New Zealand
If you are currently coached by someone who is not an Accredited Coach or Community Coach Member, we encourage you to support them in becoming a member in the coming weeks. Coach Membership is necessary to help ensure we are collectively delivering a safe sporting experience for our members.
To register as an Accredited Coach Member, Community Coach Member or Community Volunteer Member, please use this link Athletics New Zealand Coach Portal (onesporttechnology.com)
Athletics NZ are actively looking at what more we should do to ensure our sport is safe for all and taking advice from our Club Child/Youth Safety working group, which includes representatives from five clubs. The recommendations from the working group include providing information for coaches, team managers, parents and athletes on acceptable behaviours in our sport and how to report unacceptable behaviour and we are currently working on developing this information.
We have also commissioned a legal specialist with experience in member protection and child safety to review our current policies and regulations and advise us of any current gaps in ensuring a safe environment in our sport. We will work with Centres and clubs to implement the recommendations of that review when it is completed.
If you have any queries about this, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Athletics Auckland or Athletics New Zealand
Athletics Auckland on behalf of Athletics New Zealand