Shankill Tennis Club

Child Protection Guidelines

Child Protection Guidelines

Shankill Tennis Club is fully committed to safeguarding the well being of its members. Every individual in the club should at all times show respect and understanding for their rights, safety and welfare, and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of the club and the guidelines contained in the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport.

"Children have the right to be protected from all forms of violence; they must be kept safe from harm, and they must be given proper care by those looking after them " (Article 19 ; UN Convention on the Rights of the Child)

All children’s sport should be conducted in an atmosphere of fair play. Ireland and the UK have adopted and are committed to the European Code of Sports Ethics, which defines fair play as:

“much more than playing within the rules. It incorporates the concepts of friendship, respect for others and always playing within the right spirit. Fair play is defined as a way of thinking, not just a way of behaving. It incorporates issues concerned with the elimination of cheating, gamesmanship, doping, violence (both physical and verbal), exploitation, unequal opportunities, excessive commercialism and corruption.”

(European Sports Charter and Code of Ethics, Council of Europe, 1993)

The Childcare Act 1991 (ROI) and The Children’s (NI) Order (1995) are based on a clear and consistent set of principles designed with the common aim of promoting the welfare of children.
Children have the right to be safe. All coaches should ensure that this fundamental principle takes precedence over all other considerations.

Standards set by Shankill Tennis Club will be achieved through ensuring the Club: -

Adopt and implement the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport as an integral part of its policy on children in the Club
Have its constitution approved and adopted by clubs members at an AGM or EGM
Permit all members over 16 years of age to vote, where possible, in the running of their junior section. One parent / guardian should have one vote for all their children under 16 years of age, where relevant

Ensure that the Executive Committee is elected or endorsed by registered club members at each AGM
Adopt and consistently apply a safe and clearly defined method of recruiting and selecting Sports Leaders

Clearly define the role of the committee members, all Sports Leaders and parents/ guardians

Appoint/ Reappoint at least one children’s officer at the AGM as outlined in the C.o.E . In the event that a club caters for both boys and girls, one children’s officer of each gender should ideally be appointed
Appoint one of the Children’s Officers to act as Designated Officer to liaise with the Statutory Authorities in relation to the reporting of allegations or suspicions of child abuse. Any such reports should be made according to the procedures outlined in this Code/ Children First/ Our Duty to Care

Ensure best practice throughout the club by disseminating its code of conduct, including the disciplinary, complaints and appeals procedures in operation within the club to all its members. The club’s code of conduct should also be posted in all facilities used by the club

Have in place procedures for dealing with a concern or complaint made to the Statutory Authorities against a Committee Member or Sports Leader. Regulations should stipulate that a Sports Leader who is the subject of an allegation which has been reported to the Statutory Authorities, should stand aside while the matter is being examined. S/he should be invited to resume full duties immediately if s/he is vindicated

Ensure that relevant Sports Leaders report to the Club Management Committee on a regular basis.
Encourage regular turnover of committee membership while ensuring continuity and experience.

Develop effective procedures for responding to and recording accidents/ incidents
Ensure that any unusual activity (high rate of drop-out, transfers, etc.) is checked out and reported by the Designated Officer to Tennis Ireland
Ensure that all club members are given adequate notice of AGMs and other meetings
Ensure that all minutes of all meetings (AGMs / EGMs / Committees) are recorded and safely filed.

This policy applies to all those involved in Shankill Tennis Club, coaches, administrators, officials, volunteer drivers, parents and young people.

Copies of the full policy and detailed guidelines on recruitment, reporting, recording accidents/incidents, bullying, away trips and use of photography are available from the designated person or any club official.


The Child Protection Officers within Shankill Tennis Club are:

Name Address

  1. Ms Aideen Murphy c/o Club Office

  2. Mr Paul Mccarthy c/o Club Office

Photographs of the Child Protection Officers are displayed on the club’s junior notice board.

Names of Child Protection Officers shall be made known to young members, coaches and parents alike as the Designated Persons to whom concerns will be addressed. If the concern is about the Child Protection Officers please report to Club Chairperson.

The club has procedures in place for dealing with any concern or allegation of abuse either within the club or externally, but the first point of contact for a child, parent/guardian or coach should be the Child Protection Officers, although any individual has the right to contact the HSE / Social Services or the Police if they have a concern about a child’s safety.

The "Desgnated Liaison Person" for child protection  in the club is:


Liam O'Donohoe, c/o Clubhouse


All children should be valued and treated in an equitable and fair manner regardless of ability, age, sex, religion, social and ethnic background or political persuasion. Children, irrespective of ability or disability should be involved in sports activities in an integrated and inclusive way, whenever possible, thus allowing them to participate to their full potential alongside other children (Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport 2000)

Shankill Tennis Club recognises the additional vulnerability of some children and the extra difficulties they may face when seeking help, i.e.

Dependency due to disability may make some children feel powerless
On occasions possible limited ability to communicate their feelings
A negative self image can make children vulnerable to manipulation by others.

To address this vulnerability coaches will seek guidance on working with children with a disability from external agencies, parents / guardians and the children themselves.


We at Shankill Tennis Club recognise that the legal principle that the welfare of the child is paramount means that consideration of confidentiality should not be allowed to override the right of children to be protected from harm. Everyone in our organisation, including children, must be aware that they can never promise to keep secrets. However, information of a confidential nature will only be communicated on a ‘need to know’ basis. 

A full Child Protection policy document is available within club premises for all interested parties to read. 

The following best practice guidelines are followed by Shankill Tennis Club

Child Privacy and Photography

There have been concerns about the risks posed directly and indirectly to children and young people through the use of photographs on sports websites and other publications. Photographs can be used as a means of identifying children when they are accompanied with personal information this is X who lives at Y, is a member of the Z Tennis club and who likes a certain music group. This information can make a child vulnerable to an individual who may wish to start to “groom” that child for abuse. Secondly the content of the photo can be used or adapted for inappropriate use. There is evidence of this adapted material finding its way onto child pornography sites.

Sporting organisations and clubs need to develop a policy in relation to the use of images of athletes on their websites and in other publications. The sport will need to make decisions about the type of images they consider suitable and that appropriately represent the sport, without putting children at increased risk. They will want to ensure that parents support their policy. When assessing the potential risks in the use of images of athletes, the most important factor is the potential of inappropriate use of images of children.

If sporting organisations are aware of the potential risks and take appropriate steps, the potential for misuse of images can be reduced.

Tennis Ireland would advise sporting bodies to:

Consider using models or illustrations if you are promoting an activity

Avoid the use of the first name and surname of individuals in a photograph. This reduces the risk of inappropriate, unsolicited attention from people within and outside the sport.

Easy rules to remember are:

If the child is named, avoid using their photograph

If a photograph is used, avoid naming the child

Ask for the child’s permission to use their image. This ensures that they are aware of the way the image is to be used to represent the sport. A Child’s Permission Form is one way of achieving this

Ask for parental permission to use an image of a young person. This ensures that parents are aware of the way the image of their child is representing the sport. A Parental Permission Form is one way of achieving this

Only use images of children in suitable dress to reduce the risk of inappropriate use. With regard to the actual content it is difficult to specify exactly what is appropriate given the wide diversity of sports. However there are clearly some sports activities - swimming, gymnastics and athletics for example when the risk of potential misuse is much greater than for other sports. With these sports the content of the photograph should focus on the activity not on a particular child and should avoid full face and body shots. So for example shots of children in a pool would be appropriate or if poolside, waist or shoulder up

Create a recognised procedure for reporting the use of inappropriate images to reduce the risks to children. Follow your child protection procedures, ensuring both your sports child protection officer and the Social Services and/or Police are informed.

First steps and things to think about...

Establish the type of images that appropriately represent the sport for the Web and other media

Think about the level of consideration you give to the use of images of children in other publications, for example, the processes involved in choosing appropriate images for the newsletter or magazine. Apply an increased level of consideration to the images of children and young people used in the web site.

Guidelines for Use of Photographic Filming Equipment at Sporting Events

Provide a clear brief about what is considered appropriate in terms of content and behaviour, including the displaying of notices at each event

Issue the photographer with identification which must be worn at all times

Inform children and parents that a photographer will be in attendance at an event and ensure they consent to both the taking and publication of films or photographs

Do not allow unsupervised access to children or one to one photo sessions at events Do not approve/allow photo sessions outside the events or at an child’s home

If parents or other spectators are intending to photograph or video at an event they should also be made aware of your expectations

Spectators should be asked to register at an event if they wish to use photographic equipment

Children and parents should be informed that if they have concerns they can report these to the organiser

Concerns regarding inappropriate or intrusive photography should be reported to the event organiser or official and recorded in the same manner as any other child protection concern. 

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About Shankill Tennis Club

Located on a most picturesque and tranquil lane, Shankill Tennis Club is anything but quiet - it is buzzing with tennis enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. This community based club offers you:

  • A great place to play tennis with a warm and welcoming atmosphere
  • The opportunity to play both social and competitive tennis
  • Excellent coaching team - learn for the first time or develop your skills further
  • A thriving and growing Junior section
  • Continual club development - culiminating in Indoor Tennis Centre - May 2016
  • Membership is great value and the club is now open for new members
  • Non-members are very welcome to play and avail of coaching - simply phone the club(012825400) to book a court

We have grown over the past 30 years both through the hard work and contribution of members of the club and strong support from Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and from the Sports Capital Programme of  the Department of Transport , Tourism and Sport

A full list of Club Rules is available here

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Information for members only

Martyn Evans Sports

Located at Fitzwilliam Tennis club (Appian Way) Martyn Evans Sports are a very good source of advice and information on tennis shoes for our new Indoor Courts, as well as on rackets etc.  They offer a 5% discount to Shankill members. for more info:   or 016626923