The Guernsey FA offers a range of safeguarding services and training to help create a safe and enjoyable football experience for everyone. We ensure safeguarding requirements are met as a requirement of club affiliation and we support clubs to maintain these standards. This includes making unannounced safeguarding visits to clubs.
Safeguarding in Open-Age Adult Football
Safeguarding Guidance for Open Age Clubs with 16 and 17 year old players
The Guernsey FA is constantly working to make football in the island a safe and enjoyable experience for all and this includes ensuring that appropriate safeguards exist with open-age adult football.
Affiliated football holds with the principle that there are some roles within sport where adults have responsibility for, authority and influence over young people and therefore have an ethical obligation to safeguard and protect young people from exploitation. Whilst legally young people aged 16 and 17 have reached the age of consent for sexual activity, any inappropriate sexual relations with young people aged 16 or 17 will be considered a breach of a ‘Position of Trust’ within affiliated football and will be referred to the appropriate football regulatory authorities and may also be referred to the statutory agencies.
At the start of 2019 The FA contacted all open-age adult football clubs and leagues to support them in fully understanding their safeguarding responsibilities for under-18s, and adults in disability teams. Every open-age adult club is required to ensure the safeguarding of any under-18s involved with them. In addition, where there are adult disability teams, they are required to promote safeguarding adults, across every aspect of the club.
Details of the requirements at each level of the game can be found in the documents that can be downloaded below. Many clubs will already meet these requirements, particularly those who also offer youth football where similar requirements have been enforced for some time.
The key points and safeguarding actions to highlight for clubs with open age teams are:
- Review the safeguards you have in place across all aspects of your open-age adult teams
- Adopt and adhere to Affiliated Footballs Safeguarding Children Policy (for the 2020/21 season the GFA will be requesting a copy of the club Safeguarding Policy as part of the affiliation process)
- Identify which teams have 16 and/or 17 year old players
- For those teams with 16 and/or 17 year old players, clubs should identify the coaches/managers (including assistant coaches/managers) and medics for these teams and list them on The FA’s Whole Game System alongside the registered team.
- Support coaches/managers (including assistant coaches/managers) and medics working with 16 and/or 17 year olds to complete an FA DBS Check
- Provide 16 and 17 year old players with safeguarding information
Remember, it is essential that every child (under 18) is afforded the appropriate safeguards at every level of the game and in every team and that it is the responsibility of the club to ensure these are in place. If you have any questions or require any assistance in ensuring these safeguards are adopted by your club (if not already done), please contact:
Guernsey FA Designated Safeguarding Officer, Sara Mallet – firstname.lastname@example.org
Guernsey FA Senior Safeguarding Lead, Gary Roberts – email@example.com