Rowing coaches and instructors play a vital role in the development of all rowers. They are instrumental in encouraging all rowers to expand their knowledge of sportsmanship and rowing in general. There is however the opportunity for coaches and instructors to abuse the power they hold in a coach/athlete relationship. The following code of conduct is developed to aid coaches and instructors to achieve a level of behaviour, which will allow them to assist all rowers to the maximum. It is the responsibility of the employer to make every effort to ensure a positive working environment. Therefore, the onus rests with any employer to complete a criminal record check on all staff.
Coaches and Instructors Have a Responsibility to:
- Treat everyone fairly within the context of their activity, regardless of gender, place of origin, race, physical or mental disabilities, sexual orientation, religion, political beliefs, or economic status.
- Direct Comments of criticism at the performance rather than at the athlete.
- Consistently display high personal standards and project a favourable image of rowing and coaching by:
- Refraining from public criticism of other rowing coaches or instructors.
- Abstaining from the use of tobacco products while in the presence of athletes or students.
- Abstaining from the drinking of alcoholic beverages when working with under age athletes or students.
- Promote responsible drinking.
- Refrain from the use of profane, insulting, harassing or otherwise offensive language in the conduct of his/her duties.
- Refrain from the use of drugs or banned substances.
- Respect the skill level of athletes and students by:
- Ensuring that the activity being undertaken is suitable for the age, experience, ability.
- Educating athletes/students in their responsibility to contribute to a safe rowing environment.
- Treat rowers and officials with respect and actively encourage athletes to do the same.
- Encourage all rowers to demonstrate their own code of conduct.
- Refrain from public criticism of Race Officers, Judges, Umpires and all other volunteers.
Coaches and Instructors Must:
- Ensure the safety of all rowers and fellow coaches/instructors.
- At no time become intimately and/or sexually involved with a student or athletes with whom they are coaching/instructing. This includes requests for sexual favours, or threats of reprisal for the rejection of such requests.
- Respect the dignity of students and athletes. Verbal or physical behaviours that constitute harassment or abuse are not acceptable.
- Never allow the use of drugs or other banned substances.
- Never provide under age athletes or students with alcohol or tobacco products.
Process for Investigating an Alleged Breach of the Coach/Instructor Code of Conduct
At All Guelph Rowing Club Events:
At Guelph Rowing Club events the jury organized for the event shall have the primary responsibility for investigating an alleged breach of the Guelph Rowing Club ‘s Coach Instructor Code of Conduct. The jury organized for the event, shall call a hearing, or take whatever measures necessary to investigate the complaint and to determine whether the allegations have basis in fact. The jury may take whatever disciplinary actions it seems appropriate including giving the coach/instructor a reprimand, and suspending the individual from coaching/instructing for part of or the entire event where the breach occurred. Any discipline actions taken by the jury shall be reported to the Guelph Rowing Club Board of Directors with a recommendation of whether further action should be considered by the Board of Directors.
Penalties and Discipline:
Failure to follow the Guelph Rowing Club Coach/Instructor Code of Conduct at all Guelph Rowing Club events may result in one or more of the following actions:
- Disqualification of the rowers under the supervision of the coach/instructor concerned in one or more races, in the event where the incident occurred.
- Giving the coach/instructor a reprimand.
- Suspending the individual from coaching/instructing for part of or the entire event.
- Termination of the participation of the coach/instructor concerned at the event where the incident occurred.
- Expulsion of the coach/instructor from the site of the event.
- Recommending to the Guelph Rowing Club Board of Directors that the coach/instructor shall not be considered for a coaching/instructing position with the club or a period from three (3) months to four (4) years.
At Other Events and Coaching/Instructing Situations:
The primary responsibility for investigating an alleged breach of the Guelph Rowing Club Coach/Instructor Code of Conduct lies with the coach/instructor’s employer. The employer shall call a hearing or take whatever measures necessary to investigate the complaint and to determine whether all allegations have basis in fact.
Within sixty (60) days of receiving a copy of the written complaint concerning a breach of the Guelph Rowing Club ’s Coach/Instructor Code of Conduct the Guelph Rowing Club must conduct a thorough investigation and provide their findings in writing to the coach/instructor in question.
The club would also have to report their findings in writing to their provincial sport organization Row Ontario indicating the disciplinary actions it took. This may include a warning, a suspension from employment, or dismissal. The club may, in its report, recommend that Row Ontario take further disciplinary action against the coach/instructor. Row Ontario may conduct an investigation and when appropriate take further action. Such action may include prohibition from coaching/instructing at Row Ontario sponsored events or de-certification of the coach’s/instruction’s rowing credentials.
To appeal a disciplinary decision, coaches/instructors should apply in writing to the Guelph Rowing Club’s Board of Directors within thirty (30) days of the decision. A committee formed of members from both the Board of Directors and the general membership shall hear all appeals.
Review and Approval:
The Coach/Instructor Code of Conduct was reviewed by the Board of Directors of Guelph Rowing Club in May for approval on June 7, 2018