Child Welfare at Portmarnock Athletic Club

Portmarnock Athletic Club has responsibility for approximately 200 children and takes child welfare very seriously. We are fully committed to ensuring that young people are safeguarded as they participate in athletics, with a strong focus on fun in a positive and enjoyable environment. All children are respected and treated equally regardless of their ability, gender, social, ethnic or religious background.

We follow best practice in Child Welfare, as advocated by Athletics Ireland's (AI). This includes full adoption and implementation of AI's policies, codes of conduct, and guidelines. Further information available at:

Child Protection Policy Statement

Portmarnock Athletic Club has a duty of care to our young members and is committed to ensuring that they enjoy their athletics in a positive and enjoyable environment. This requires that all those involved in our club know and accept their responsibilities. Moreover, all coaches are committed to developing and implementing policies and procedures consistent with this objective. For further information please contact our Child Welfare Officer:

Emma Mc Cormack, email –

The Club and those involved with the club will abide by the following principles/statements:

  • All young people participating in athletics have a right to do so in a safe and enjoyable environment.

  • All young people within Portmarnock AC have a right to be treated equally and protected, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, ability or disability.

  • All adults involved with the club will provide a safe, positive and fun sporting experience for young people.

  • All volunteers, coaches and officials within our club will understand and keep up to date in their responsibilities and role in providing a safe environment in which our young athletes can train and compete.

  • Portmarnock Athletic Club recognises that it is not the responsibility of those individuals working within the club to determine if abuse has taken place, but it is their responsibility to report any concerns to the Child Welfare Officer.

  • All concerns/issues relating to child welfare will be taken seriously, managed and dealt with quickly in a manner that is consistent with our club’s and AI’s policy.

  • The club will support and assist coaches, volunteers and officials to remain up-to-date with the latest safeguarding and child protection issues.

Guidelines for Children

Athletics has much to offer children in terms of their physical, social and emotional development. Moreover, it offers an opportunity to have fun and develop health promoting activities. Creating the correct environment in which our athletes can enjoy athletics and progress depends on the co-operation of all involved, including child members of our club.

Children in sport are entitled to:

  • Be listened to.

  • Be believed.

  • Be safe and to feel safe.

  • Participate in activities on an equal basis, appropriate to their ability and stage of development.

  • Be treated with dignity, sensitivity and respect.

  • Be happy, have fun and enjoy athletics.

  • Experience competition at a level at which they feel comfortable.

  • Comment and make suggestions in a constructive manner.

  • Make a complaint in an appropriate way and have it dealt with through an effective complaints procedure.

  • Be afforded appropriate confidentiality.

  • Be represented at meetings within their club.

  • Have a voice in the running of their club.

  • Approach the Children’s Officer/Designated Person with any questions or concerns they may have.

Children also have responsibilities to treat other children and volunteers within our club with fairness and respect. Children should undertake to:

  • Play fairly, do their best and have fun.

  • Respect officials and accept their decisions.

  • Respect fellow club members and always support them fully.

  • Exercise self-control and tolerance for others, even if others do not.

  • Respect those they are competing against.

  • Accept apologies from opponents when they are offered.

  • Be modest in victory and be gracious in defeat.

  • Shake hands before and after the event.

  • Show appropriate loyalty to athletics and all its participants.

  • Make high standards of fair play the example others want to follow.

Children should never:

  • Cheat

  • Act in an aggressive manner.

  • Shout at, or argue with, officials, club mates or opponents.

  • Take substances to improve performance.

  • Bully or use bullying tactics to isolate another child.

  • Use unfair or bullying tactics to gain advantage.

  • Harm club mates, opponents or their property.

  • Tell lies about adults or other children.

  • Spread rumours.

  •  Keep secrets about any person who may have caused them harm.

    If a child is disrupting the class/ fighting / messing with another child/ equipment then we as coaches can  issue a yellow warning.  If the child continues to misbehave and receives another yellow warning in that session then they are given a red warning and they will be unable to attend   the next training session and their parents will be contacted.