Child Protection for Parents of children in Judo.

Sadly, not all people are good and wholesome, even those involved in martial arts and sport. In this post we shall discuss some issues pertaining to child protection within Judo clubs and how that relates to you as a parent.

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Within any environment where children are involved there is a risk that someone or something will put your child at risk.  A well run club will have policies and procedures in place to ensure that your child is protected. Some examples of how good Judo clubs will protect your child are listed below:

(UK) Criminal Record Bureau check.
Here in the UK, all people involved with working with children should undergo a CRB check. This is a check to ensure that the staff of volunteers in your club are not prior offenders.

Parents should be welcome to watch sessions.
Well run clubs do not prevent parents from watching classes. You should be allowed and encouraged to watch any session your child attends. Good clubs will make this a comfortable experience and provide facilities to assist this like seating for example. Within some venues space may be limited of course, but a well run club will not discourage you from attending.

One to one training
Children should never be in one to one situations with an adult instructor/coach. It is good practice for clubs to ensure that this does not occur. Clubs should always have multiple staff around of both sexes, a well rub club will manage this and ensure that there are at least parents available to attend sessions to ensure that coaches are never alone with children. This protects both the coach from alegations and the child from being put in a situation alone with a coach.

Coaches will behave appropriately as should the class.
You should never see a good Judo coach swear at children, or allow it in their presence. Similarly, coaches should never be involved or allow bad behavior. Examples might be encouragement of inappropriate physical contact, favouritism, rough play, sexual innuendo or humiliating punishments.

Openness about procedures.
Safe well run clubs will be open with you about the procedures they have in lace to protect your child. These will go from recruitment procedures, through to coach training, coach supervision, paperwork and more.

Qualifications.
Good coaches are well qualified, the days of the coach who graduated “the school of hard knocks” or is “qualified by experience” are gone. All coaches should have good qualifications for teaching Judo. Within Europe the European Judo Union has coaching qualifications from 3-5 (with more being defined). Within each nation, the governing body has it’s own set of standards also. There are also external qualifications such as the UKCC in the UK and of course university degree courses.
A black belt is NOT a qualification to teach!

Good Communication
Good clubs and coaches will communicate with you, they will keep you informed as to what is happening, why it is happening and so forth. Better clubs will give you information on your child, they will tell you how your child is progressing, any issue they are having, etc. If your child suddenly stops coming or their behavior suddenly changes good clubs will ask why.

What you can do to protect your child and others?

You can help protect your child by becoming involved in the club and communicating with them. Study up on child protection issues and volunteer to be the child protection officer at the club (or one of them). Ensure that you child’s club is an example of how to do things right and that things get done the right way. Often bad practise is not a case of bad intentions just lack of time and resources, so offering to help can be the best way to help protect your child.

Further reading a sources of information for this article:

http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/cpsu/HelpAndAdvice/Parents/ClubSafetyChecks/dangersignals_wda62018.html
http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/cpsu/HelpAndAdvice/Parents/ClubSafetyChecks/clubsafetycheck_wda62016.html
http://www.safesport.co.uk/ChildrenAndSportWhenToBegin.html
http://www.greatersport.co.uk/clubs/children-in-sport
http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/cpsu/HelpAndAdvice/Organisations/Standards/Standards_wda60694.html
http://britishjudo.org.uk/policy/childprotection/policy.php

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This entry was posted by LanceW on Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 at 6:11 pm and is filed under Judo . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Comments

  1. TREVOR JAMES says:

    Lance, its Trevor EJU Level 5 undergraduate at Ruskin with Bob Challis. Its 2350pm on Friday night 24th Sept 2010. I came across this link while sourcing information for my assignment. Its truely amazing. First off I have cited the link in my assignment and further more will be tying it into any I say ANY presentation I will be doing to drum up interest in Judo with regards to kids.
    Take care and thanks.
    Trevor

  2. LanceW says:

    Hi Trevor,
    Glad you found it useful. Keep on working on the level 5 buddy!
    Lance

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