Being involved in a sporting club is never uneventful and conflict is inevitable in the competitive environment of sport. From time to time issues arise, for example - over decisions about membership and selection and about the behaviour of members and personnel. Many of these problems can be ‘nipped in the bud’ if they are responded to when they first arise. However it is known that the longer an issue is left unattended the harder it is to resolve and the more likely it will develop into a formal complaint.

Issues need to be addressed and everyone – administrators, coaches, officials, players and parents – has a role to play in doing so. Ideally, the response will help create an inclusive, safe, fair and respectful environment, particularly for children.

This section provides information on commonly occurring issues in sport including what the law says about the matter, and provides practical ideas by your role (e.g., coach) about ‘what to do now’ and ‘what to do next’.

  • Bullying

    Every person in sport, in every role, has the right to participate in an environment that is fun, safe and healthy, and to be treated with respect, dignity and fairness. Bullying denies participants these rights and can result in feelings of disgrace, embarrassment, shame or intimidation.

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  • Child Protection

    Child Protection in sport

    Child protection is about keeping children and young people safe from abuse and protecting them from people who are unsuitable to work with children.

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  • Girls Playing in Boys Teams

    Children with basketball

    The issue of girls and boys wanting to play in each other’s teams may arise occasionally. This isn’t a concern when children are young, but it can become more complex as players approach adolescence and differences in physiology and ability begin to emerge.

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  • Inclusion and diversity

    Inclusion and diversity in sport

    It's important that sport and recreation organisations reflect the diversity of the community they are in. Being inclusive and diverse doesn't just happen! Here, you will get a good understanding of what inclusion and diversity is and some practical ways to ensure your organisation reflects your community. 

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  • Infectious Diseases

    Injured arm with blood

    The issues surrounding infectious diseases are emotive and complex. This is particularly the case given that blood borne infections can be transmitted during body contact and collision sports. Fortunately, there are many practical and common sense steps clubs can take to reduce the risk of infectious disease transmission.

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  • Integrity in Sport

    Integrity in sport - what is it?

    Sport at a grassroots level needs to be safe, it needs to be fair, it needs to be honest, respectful and have integrity. Without these things sport can lose its relevance and meaning. If people do not have belief and trust in the game, in the activity, then why would people do it? 

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  • Intimate Relationships

    Football coach and player

    An intimate (sexual) relationship between a coach and athlete has the potential to be damaging even if it doesn't constitute harassment. Athletes, coaches and sports administrators need to be aware of the potential problems that such a relationship can create for the coach, athlete, team members and the sports organisation.

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  • Physical Contact with Children

    Coach touching player

    Issues surrounding physical contact in sport can be controversial and complex. Some sports require physical contact between adults and children for skill development; others do not.

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  • Sideline behaviour

    Parents at sport

    Parents play an invaluable role in club and community sports. Occasionally, however, some become over emotional, verbally abusive and sometimes even physically aggressive. It’s important that the inappropriate actions of a few parents don’t ruin the sporting experience for everyone else..

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  • Social Media

    Social Media

    Social media can be a hugely beneficial tool for sport and recreation organisations. But is can also have its pitfalls. Organisations need to be aware of these and put safeguards in place to ensure appropriate use of all forms of social media.

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  • Team Selection (Juniors)

    The selection of junior teams involves balancing individual participation with skill development and the shift towards greater competition as children mature. Coaches and club junior sport administrators usually manage the selection process.

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