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Welfare Policy

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Welfare policy

Updated August 2020


Cambridge University Canoe Club regards the health, safety and welfare of all its members to be of the greatest importance. The fundamental basis for our welfare policy is the desire to treat our members responsibly and with respect and to support them in pursuing their academic and sporting goals. The Club recognises that welfare is not just about safety on the water but covers the full breadth of Club activities from competition through to socials and media presence. To this end, Cambridge University Canoe Club aims to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that policies, procedures and practices are in place to maintain a safe and healthy environment and promote a positive club culture, not only for its members but also for other people and organisations that may be affected by the activities of the Club.

Roles and responsibilities

Everyone Involved in the Club

Everyone involved in the club regardless of whether they are a general club member, committee member or spectator is expected to:

  • Respect the rights, dignity and values of others
  • Treat facilities at the University of Cambridge and other institutions with respect
  • Be aware of how their actions may be perceived by others
  • Conduct themselves in a reasonable manner relating to offensive language and temperament
  • Refrain from any form of bullying or harassment of others
  • Not act in any way that is, or could be deemed as, discriminatory. Discriminatory behaviour may include giving different treatment to an individual or group based on a protected characteristic, such as: race, sex, gender identity, national origin, colour, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, religion or any other status protected by law
  • Not condone, or allow to go unchallenged, any form of bullying, harassment or discrimination if witnessed. It is not the responsibility of club members to judge whether or not a welfare violation has taken place but it is their responsibility to act on any concerns that they may have
  • Operate within the rules of the sport (when applicable, for example canoe polo) and respect the decisions of officials, making all appeals through the appropriate formal process and respect any final decisions
  • Refrain from the use of and involvement with illegal or prohibited substances at all times
  • Not act in an unlawful manner

The Club Committee

Overall responsibility for the management of welfare within Cambridge University Canoe Club rests with the Club Committee. They will aim, as far as is reasonably practical, to:

  • Create, promote and maintain an equitable, safe and positive environment for all club members to participate and/or compete in canoeing and kayaking.
  • Develop, implement and monitor policies, procedures and codes of conduct that are suitable for the club environment and that are well publicised and/or formally endorsed by the relevant individuals and/or governing bodies.
  • Ensure that there is a competent Welfare & Access Officer designated within the club to take the lead role in dealing with welfare matters.
  • Ensure that there is a competent Safety Officer to take the lead role in health and safety policies, procedures and practices.
  • Ensure that activities run by the club are at a suitable level for the skills and abilities of members.
  • Support Whistle Blowing and take steps to ensure members feel able to raise concerns without fear of negative repercussions.
  • Ensure that confidentiality is maintained in relation to concerns and referrals, and information is only shared on a genuine ‘need to know’ basis.

Welfare & Access Officer

Our current Welfare & Access Officer is Sarah Bate

The role of the Club Welfare & Access Officer is to promote welfare centred practices within the club environment, provide a confidential, initial contact point for members in relation to welfare concerns and signpost individuals to relevant University, College and Community support systems when required. The role holder will:

  • Assist the club in developing policies and procedures that prioritises equality and the ongoing welfare of club members. This should include welfare and equality policies.
  • Work with the Club Committee to ensure that Codes of Conduct are in place for club members and competitors.
  • Be a confidential point of contact for any issues concerning welfare within the Sports Club environment, e.g. poor practice, selection policy concerns, training/competition pressures from captains, coaches or other members, potential/alleged bullying or harassment.
  • Ensure that all incidents are reported correctly and referred, in accordance with the Club Welfare Policy.
  • Keep up to date with referral routes available to students within the University, College and local area and signpost members accordingly.
  • Act independently and in the best interests of members of the club, putting their needs above that of others and the club itself.
  • Be in attendance at Club Committee Meetings to advise on welfare matters.
  • Ensure confidentiality is maintained and information is only shared on a ‘need to know’ basis and that information is only shared on a genuine ‘need to know’ basis.

Please note that it is NOT the role of the Club Welfare & Access Officers to provide individual counselling support to club members. The Colleges work in close partnership with the University to provide the very best pastoral and welfare support to students and, as part of that partnership, individuals such as College Tutors and Senior Tutors have formal welfare roles and responsibilities and, as such, are better placed to provide guidance and support to students on non-sport specific welfare matters. The University Counselling Service can provide individual counselling support for students in a range of areas, including anxiety, depression, academic related issues and relationships. In addition, Mental Health Advisors, working in the Counselling Service, can provide support and guidance to students who are in crisis or who are experiencing moderate to severe mental health difficulties. There are also a range of self-help guides, resources and information for students available on the University Counselling Service website at:

The Welfare & Access Officer will also promote fair access within the club and work with the treasurer and other committee members to ensure club activities like trips and socials are accessible to all members.

Club policies and procedures

Cambridge University Canoe Club recognises the importance of having clear policies and procedures in place to support student welfare. Club Members should ensure that they read and adhere to the following policies and procedures:

Sports service support

The Sports Service has a number of staff available to support Clubs in setting up a positive welfare culture supported by clear policies and procedures. The Sports Service Welfare Officers are also available to students if they feel unable to speak to their Club Welfare Officer or College Tutor regarding sports related matters.