Ulster Cycling News
26Feb/140

Safeguarding Courses Well Received

aThe latest Safeuarding Awareness Courses run and  organised by Cycling Ulster were well received. Last Thursday the course tutors, Patrick McAleavey and Marian Lamb headed to Dromore in County Tyrone to deliver the course to Vision 24-7. Members of Island Wheelers and Drumquin CC were also in attendance.

While the numbers participating at this course was not as high as in Randalstown the venue could not have been better. We are indebted to Johnathan Keyes, Manager of the EuroAuctions facility in Dromore for the use of the premises. We had a magnificent conference room with the largest projector screen imaginable.

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The participants were a lively crowd and asked a lot of questions. Vision 24-7 had requested this course but members of their club have attended courses run in Omagh and Donegal last year. The club is very keen to make sure that they have all the proper structures in place so that they can feel confident in their youth work.

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At the halfway stage we were treated to sandwiches and tray bakes  as well as tea and coffee by Chairman of Vision 24-7, Leslie Crozier. Many thanks to eveyone for making us so welcome. Leslie also showed samples of their welcome pack for parents and new youth members. Miriam Coffey their Female Safeguarding Officer had worked hard to ensure that all the relevant parental consent forms and youth information forms had been included in the pack.

Once again we would like to thank EuroAuctions for the use of their premises and we hope will get a chance to use the execellent EuroAuction Facilities again.

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cOn Monday night the Safeguarding team then headed to Monaghan and the Four Seasons Hotel where the course was delivered to Emyvale CC.

Emyvale have long been involved in the promotion of Youth Cycling and it is not surprising that they had perhaps the largest turnout of a single club with twenty members taking part.

This says a lot about the club as the members were keen to find out the best way to safeguard the young people in their care as well as safeguard the volunteers.

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The new laws in the South of Ireland now bring the them into line with Northern Ireland and in fact if anything the southern laws are even more strict. The Emyvale contingent were keen to get as much information as possible and asked some searching questions.

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The issue of social media, club websites, emails and texting was discussed in depth and everyone was in agreement that this is going to be the major problem in safeguarding in the next few years. The use of mobile phones, the need for proper toilet and changing facilities and photography were among other topics covered. The rules laid down in Cycling Ireland's Code of Ethics were also discussed.

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Many thanks to the Four Seasons Hotel for the use of the facilities.

These two course bring to three the number of courses organised in February. Currently the next course is on 10th March in the Whistledown Hotel in Warrenpoint for Newry Wheelers and neighbouring clubs.. There will also be a course in the Bangor area requested by North Down CC. This may take place on 24th March but has still to be confirmed.

bPatrick McAleavey and Marian Lamb also attended a Designated Officers Course in Dubdalk on Wednesday evening. There were over forty people in attandance representing all the sports North an South. The course was delivered by Paul Spephenson of the Child Protection in Sprt Unit odf the NSPCC an dBernie Priestly of the the Irish Sport Council.

Attendees were updated on the current state of legislation and proposed changes  to both Garda Vetting and AccessNI.

Following the break there was an interesting presentation on Safeguarding the Young Talented Athlete. The methods used by Sky and BC were lauded as the way to go forward with the emphasis on encouragement and support rather than increasing presure on the athlete.

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If any other club would like us to  host a Safeguarding Awareness Course for their members please contact Patrick McAleavey on patrick@paddy55.fsnet.co.uk or myself at marianlamb@ulstercyclingnews.com. Cycling Ulster will cover any expenses as we believe it is important for clubs to have access to these courses.

Marian Lamb

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