Thu, 09 Sep 2021 00:00
CREATING A WELCOMING CHILD SAFE ENVIRONMENT THROUGH
EMBODYING BEST PRACTICE
BELROSE TENNIS CLUB
Belrose Tennis Club is a four-court club with over 17,000 annual visitations. Located in Sydney's Northern Beaches, Belrose Tennis Club is committed to best practice in Child Safety.
Club President Graham Corderoy said, "Belrose Tennis Club strives to adhere to best practice and principles to ensure the safety and protection of our members, visitors, coaching staff and pupils. We have adopted and implemented a formal Member Protection Policy in line with Tennis Australia's policy, as we strongly believe in the need to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children in our tennis environment.
Belrose Tennis Club is committed to creating an inclusive and safe space for children who choose to play tennis at our club."
Belrose Tennis Club has taken the following actions from a governance perspective to ensure child safety maintains a strong focus:
• Two Member Protection Information Officers (MPIO)
• Published commitment statement to Safeguarding Children
• Published commitment to their Member Protection Policy
• TA Coach Members & Coach compliance best practice
• Working With Children Checks (WWCC) for all committee members, employees, volunteers and coaches
Belrose Tennis Club has an older demographic of volunteers and members, with juniors and kids coming through to the club via the coach. The Northern Beaches community loves tennis with over 19 facilities in the one Local Government Area. Belrose Tennis Club and their coach Will Skeggs (Young Aces) acknowledges the importance of child safety in the sport and respects that its community does too.
The club’s initiatives are two-fold, they focus on compliance and environment.
Compliance and Club Commitment
Belrose Tennis Club undertook the Tennis Restart initiative with Northern Beaches Council and Tennis NSW in 2020. Through this process the existing child safety processes were identified and explored. Although the club was compliant, they wanted to further improve and demonstrate their commitment to best practice.
- It is always a challenge to find volunteers for the MPIO role due to a number of reasons including lack of time to do the online course and also the intimidation of the responsibility it bears. Tennis NSW worked through this with the committee providing reassurance of the level of support provided to MPIO’s. Tennis NSW also has MPIO’s to provide support to our clubs, and anything that an MPIO is unsure how to handle or respond to, they can escalate that straight to Tennis NSW and they no longer hold any responsibility over the matter. Belrose Tennis Club ensured the MPIO was built into the job responsibilities of the President and Secretary. Additionally, the contact details of the club’s MPIOs and Tennis NSW MPIOs was visually displayed at the venue so that visitors were aware of the support available.
- Belrose Tennis Club have ensured both the President and Secretary registered their status as the MPIO withTennis NSW in the 2021 membership renewal process.
- Belrose Tennis Club use the Safeguarding Children promotional material available to them through Tennis NSW to visually display their commitment.
- During the Tennis NSW membership process, the Club accepted the terms and conditions which are inclusive of the adoption of the Tennis NSW Safeguarding Children commitment, Code of Conduct and Member Protection Policy. Belrose Tennis Club has taken the extra step of personalising the commitment statement for their club and have made it available to all members and the community by dedicating a page on their website to publishing their commitments to both policies.
- Belrose Tennis Club and their coach Will Skeggs (Young Aces) share the same philosophy and they have set up processes internally to ensure that all coaches and volunteers are fully compliant with relevant documentation at any one time.
- As a result of completing all child safety criteria in the Tennis Restart audit conducted by Tennis NSW, the Council was able to acknowledge their efforts which have long term benefits for Club/Council relationships.
Belrose Tennis Club over time, has built in a child safe culture which is further fostered by their coach. The club has ensured the facilities are child safe and parent friendly which has created a natural congregation point for families to interact at their club. Given the Northern Beaches are community aware with many safe local parks and playgrounds, Belrose Tennis Club has embraced this value and have reflected this in their own centre through:
• Maintaining an open and inviting clubhouse
• Ensuring clean and well-maintained facility and surrounds
• Offering tennis programming for all children
• Ensuring the clubhouse has facilities and equipment for supervised games and activities
• Providing great shelter for bad weather
• Providing plenty of green space which children can enjoy
• Providing benches and space for parents to wait
The culture that these small assurances have cultivated means that many of the members utilise the club with their families, ensuring a safe environment for all members of the family. These elements have created a safe, inviting and friendly local meeting point for many people in the community.
Belrose Tennis Club further embraces this culture by being proactive in ensuring that any new members and their families are made to feel welcomed by committee members who are leading operations at the club. The club have peace of mind that they are doing everything they can to protect their tennis community.
Member Protection Policy
Belrose Tennis Club is committed to protecting the health, safety, and well-being of those who participate in the activities of Tennis. All Belrose Tennis Club members, coaches, parents, and contractors are bound by the Tennis Australia Member Protection Policy. This Policy ensures that every person involved in our Club is treated with respect and dignity and is safe and protected from abuse. This policy also ensures that everyone involved in our Club is aware of his or her legal and ethical rights and responsibilities. All members have a responsibility at all times when playing at or representing the club, to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner, consistent with the Tennis Australia Code of Conduct. Our club endorses the Tennis Australia Member Protection Policy and makes the following commitments.
Please find a link to our complete commitments that is easily accessible on the Policies page of this website; https://play.tennis.com.au/BelroseTennisClub/ClubPolicies