Code of Conduct


The ABMAA are committed to the view that everybody has a responsibility to work together – members, coaches, instructors, officials, administrators, parents and spectators. Together their attitudes and actions can ensure high standards of exercise and sporting behaviour to help emphasise fun, friendly competition and individual fulfilment.

Coaches, instructors and other sporting staff are in a position of trust and influence with children, young people and vulnerable adults, and have a duty of care to safeguard them. The role you take and how you interact with those you work with can be crucial to ensuring that they have a quality experience, with fun and enjoyment setting them up in sport for life.

In order to discharge these responsibilities you should adopt and comply with this code of conduct.

Read and sign as read the full versions for the Child Protection and Anti-Bullying Policies retained in the office at the ABMAA. There may be updates so these must be signed yearly in order to keep up to date.


  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person and treat equally within the context of their sport.
  • Consider the well being and safety of the member above the development of performance.
  • Appreciate individuality and put the needs of the individual before the needs of the sport.
  • Develop an appropriate working relationship with members based on mutual trust and respect – do not exert undue influence to obtain personal benefit or reward.
  • Encourage and guide members to accept responsibility for their own behaviour.
  • Hold up-to-date nationally recognised qualifications and insurance cover, and commit to maintaining up-to-date coaching knowledge and keeping informed about the principles of children’s growth and development.
  • Follow policies, guidelines and codes of conduct laid down by the ABMAA
  • Make sure all activities are appropriate to the age, maturity, experience and ability of those taking part.
  • Mixed classes shall be run with consideration and with clear explanations that enable people to decline certain activities involving close proximity with others if they feel it necessary. The ABMAA Grievance Procedure must deal with any instance involving complaints.
  • Ensure that equipment and facilities meet safety standards and are appropriate to the age and ability of the members.
  • Avoid over stating the talented members – be sensitive to the less talented members who need and deserve equal time.
  • Be reasonable in your demands on children’s and young people’s time, energy and enthusiasm – they need to have other interests.
  • Find out what other sporting or activity commitments your members have.
  • Make sure that parents have a realistic expectation for their child and are aware of their child’s aspirations and goals.
  • Always promote the positive aspect of the ABMAA and never condone rule violations, aggression or the use of prohibited substances.
  • Do not take part in or tolerate behaviour that frightens, embarrasses or demoralises a member or that negatively affects their self-esteem.
  • Display consistently high standards of behaviour and appearance.
  • Always be the first at training or at a meeting point and the last to leave.
  • Always be publicly open when working with children – ensure that whenever possible there is more than one adult present or that at least you are in sight or hearing of others.
  • Manual support is rarely required – if it is necessary the reasons should be clearly explained to the child, and if possible the parents / guardian / carers – be aware that any physical contact with a child or young person may be misinterpreted.
  • Where possible, parents should be responsible for their own child in the changing rooms.
  • Respect a young person’s right to personal privacy – encourage them to feel comfortable and caring enough to point out attitudes or behaviour that they do not like.
  • Remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well intentioned.
  • Recognise that special caution is required when you are discussing sensitive issues with children and young people.
  • Challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations/suspicions of harassment and abuse.
  • Do not spend time alone with children away from others or take children alone on car journeys (however short) or take children to your home where they will be alone with you.


You should never…


  • Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay.
  • Allow or engage in any inappropriate physical or verbal contact with children or young people.
  • Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged.
  • Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun.
  • Allow allegations of a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.
  • Do things of a personal nature for children.
  • Invite or allow children to stay with you at your home unsupervised.
  • Allow bullying or bad behaviour by children.
  • Allow yourself to be drawn into inappropriate attention seeking behaviour/make suggestive or derogatory remarks or gestures in front of children or young people.
  • Jump to conclusions without checking facts.
  • Either exaggerate or trivialise child abuse issues.
  • Show favouritism to any individual.
  • Believe that ‘it couldn’t happen to me’.

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