Ireland’s minister of state for sport and physical education, Thomas Byrne, has launched the National Code of Conduct Template developed by Sport Ireland for Irish sports.
The initiative aims to foster a culture of respect, integrity, and fairness within the country’s sporting community by addressing and eliminating abuse towards referees, officials, coaches, players, and all participants involved. The newly created code of conduct template sets forth a set of guidelines and principles that promotes the behaviour and conduct expected from athletes, coaches, parents/guardians, supporters, referees/officials, and club members, regardless of the sporting environment.
While different sports organisations may have their own customised versions of a code of conduct based on their unique needs and values, Sport Ireland recommends that national governing bodies use the template as an opportunity to review their existing policies and procedures for handling code breaches.
Key elements of the National Code of Conduct Template include:
• Promoting Fairness and Respect: The code outlines the importance of treating all participants, coaches, athletes, officials, and supporters with respect and fairness.
• Supporting Positive Development: Emphasising the crucial role of parents/guardians and supporters in encouraging positive development in young participants and avoiding actions that may have a lasting emotional impact.
• Minimising Breaches: The template defines the minimum levels of behaviour and conduct required and highlights the disciplinary procedures or sanctions that may be applied in case of code breaches.
• Reporting Mechanisms: Participants are encouraged to report any breaches of the code promptly, ensuring that matters are addressed swiftly and appropriately.
“We believe that by establishing a unified code of conduct template, we can support our sporting organisations to create a safer and more respectful environment for everyone involved in Irish sports,” said Dr Una May CEO Sport Ireland.
“This initiative is a valuable step towards promoting good practice and ensuring that our sporting community thrives on mutual respect. A key aspect of the template is the education of participants on how to report breaches which is essential to maintain the integrity of Irish sports.”