Guidance for Away Trips/Overnight stays (Under 18’s)
Travelling to away fixtures is a regular event for many clubs and teams. Trips may vary from short journeys across town to play another local team or involve more complicated arrangements involving overnight stays and events overseas. But even what appears as the most straightforward of trips may require some level of planning. The following will outline a number of issues that need to be considered when travelling with children.
- Children – should be made aware of the travel plans, venue and time for collection/departure, time of return and any costs. They should also have a clear understanding of what standard of behaviour is expected of them. They should be informed what sports equipment they need to bring with them and any ‘dress code’ that may apply for travelling to/from venues or during competition.
- Parents – should also be made aware of the above. For trips involving an overnight stay they must have completed a consent form detailing any medical issues etc. that the team manager/contact person should be aware of. Parents should also have the name and contact details of the team manager/contact person in the event of an emergency.
- Other officials/volunteers – need to be made aware of what their responsibilities are, if any, in advance of the trip. If the trip involves an overnight stay, it is important that all officials/volunteers with responsibilities as above are made fully aware of them. If parents are travelling with the ‘team’ then they make take over these responsibilities as appropriate within the particular competition.
Planning needs to take place before the event to make sure that, whatever mode of transport is being used, any safeguarding concerns can be addressed as appropriate. If an overnight stay is involved then there should be at least one adult of each gender travelling with a mixed party.
Dependent on the nature of the competition the ratio of adults to children may vary but whatever is considered appropriate would generally need to be increased when an overnight stay is involved. As a general rule a ratio of adults to children of 1:10 would be reasonable but if any child requires extra support then this may need to come down to 2:1 for an individual, if required, as there should never be a 1 on 1 situation.
The team manager/organiser should ensure that any relevant insurance cover is in place for travel to away events especially when an overnight stay is involved. If the insurance cover is the responsibility of the individuals then this should be conveyed to the parents at an early stage.
Adults should not share rooms with children, unless they are the parent, legal guardian, sibling or other person nominated and agreed by the parent. In general, children should share rooms with those of the same age and gender and adults should knock before entering rooms.
Procedures should be in place in the case of an emergency occurring during an away trip/overnight stay so as parents can contact the team manager/contact person or vice versa.
The above are only basic points of advice and are not comprehensive guidelines. Further information or guidance can be sought from the IBA Safeguarding Officer.