What is bullying?
Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.
Bullying can be:
- Emotional – being unfriendly, excluding (emotionally and physically), tormenting (e.g. hiding rugby kit, threatening gestures including sending threatening text messages);
- Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence;
- Racist – racial taunts, graffiti, gestures;
- Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments;
- Homophobic – because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality;
- Verbal – name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing.
The competitive nature of rugby union makes it a potential environment for the bully. This may manifest itself in some of the following ways:
- A parent who pushes too hard;
- A coach who adopts a ‘win at all costs’ philosophy;
- A player who intimidates others;
- An official who is over officious.
Emotional and verbal bullying is more likely to be found in rugby than physical violence. It is also difficult to cope with or prove. London Irish ARFC treats all instances of bullying with paramount importance and this policy is intended as one of zero tolerance. The Club requires all its members, coaches, players, staffing volunteers and parents to subscribe to and accept this policy.
Any incidents of bullying should be referred to the Child Safeguarding Officer or Chairman of either the Mini or Youth section.
London Irish ARFC will always be prepared to:
- Take the problem seriously;
- Document any allegations;
- Investigate any incidents;
- Talk to the bullies and victims separately.
Report incidents of adults bullying a young person to The Club’s Safeguarding Officer