Instructors - Sexual Activity
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:
Within sport, as within other activities, sexual relationships do occur. All sports organisations should therefore be aware of the law relating to sexual behaviour and should develop and promote guidelines relating to sexual activity. These guidelines should address sexual activity both between children and young people and between adults and young people.
- Sexual activity between children/young people involved in sport should be prohibited during team events, in sports facilities or social activities organised by the club/organisation. Inappropriate or criminal sexual behaviour committed by a young person may lead to disciplinary action in accordance with the sports governing body guidance and reports being made to external agencies like the police or social work departments.
- Sexual interactions between adults and young people (16+) involved in sport raise serious issues given the power imbalance inherent in the relationship. Where a young person is of the age of consent the power of the adult over that young person may influence their ability to genuinely consent to sexual activity. A coach or other adult in a position of authority may have significant power or influence over a young person’s career.
- Sexual activity between adults and young people (16+) involved in the same sport should be prohibited when the adult is in a position of trust or authority (coach, trainer, official). Inappropriate or criminal sexual behaviour committed by an adult should lead to suspension and disciplinary action in accordance with the sports governing body guidance, which in the case of criminal action must include contacting the police.
- Sexual activity between adults and children under the age of 16 is a criminal act and immediate action must be taken to report it.