Coach's Legal Responsibilities
Coaches need to be aware of their legal responsibilities, especially with respect to the advice they give their athletes and the way they manage and supervise participation in sport. Coaches have a legal responsibility to their athletes and should:
Health and Safety
Coaches are responsible for the health and safety of the athletes in their charge. Coaches should have access to first aid facilities and have the means by which to contact emergency services. A coach could be liable if evidence can show that normal standards and practices have not been followed.
Protection from Abuse
Coaches also have a responsibility to protect children from all forms of abuse. There are four main kinds of abuse:
Coaches should be able to recognise indicators that may signify abuse and take appropriate action if concerned. All organisations (e.g. sports governing bodies, local authorities, clubs) should have a policy statement and guidelines regarding child abuse.
Coaches should have appropriate insurance that covers both public liability and personal accidents. Many governing bodies include insurance as part of their affiliation fee.
It is recommended that coaches do not use their personal vehicles for transporting athletes to venues. If coaches do use their own vehicles then they should ensure they are properly licensed and insured. With young athletes, coaches should seek the assistance of the parents/guardians.
Coaches have an ethical and legal responsibility to:
The following references provide additional information on this topic:
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The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: