Instructors - Physical Contact

Help and advice from the Child Protection in Sport Unit
Here are some practical ways for your organisation to help safeguard the children and young people who take part in your activities:

Many sports require a degree of physical contact between sports staff and children or young people. Coaches and staff may need to use it to instruct, encourage, protect or comfort. Your organisation should develop and publicise clear guidelines about physical contact, so that adults and children/young people understand what are the appropriate types of touching and their appropriate contexts.

Physical contact during sport should always be intended to meet the child's needs, NOT the adult's. The adult should only use physical contact if their aim is to:

  • develop sports skills or techniques
  • to treat an injury
  • to prevent an injury
  • to meet the requirements of the sport.

The adult should explain the reason for the physical contact to the child. Unless the situation is an emergency, the adult should ask the child for permission.

The contact should not involve touching genital areas, buttocks or breasts.

Physical contact should not take place in secret or out of sight of others.

All injuries should be fully recorded by staff.

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