Following on from the very successful National Governing Bodies of Sport Safeguarding Self-Assessment Framework facilitated by Sport Ireland, it has highlighted how important it is that all our clubs are aware of their responsibilities under the Children First Act 2015. Rowing Ireland has a large amount of information and policy document templates on the website to assist our clubs in operating within the law and ensuring our young and vulnerable members are kept safe.

We have worked hard behind the scenes to support our clubs and to have a very extensive catalogue of policies in template form that can be adopted for our clubs. You can also contact rowing Ireland through if you have any questions regarding safeguarding where our L&D lead and Club support officer Pat Kiely is happy to answer your questions. 

For sensitive information or to report an incident, you can contact our designated officers which are listed below. All reports are taken seriously and are treated with the utmost confidentiality. 

The response from Rowing Ireland clubs was tremendous, it was plain to see that a lot of hard work has gone into safeguarding by club committees throughout the island of Ireland and we were delighted to answer queries and questions that clubs had.

Below is listed the mandatory training that is required under the Children First Act 2015 and also a reminder of the mandated positions each club must fill to be compliant with the act.

These courses can be accessed through your local sports partnership organisation.

Safeguarding 1 – Child Welfare & Protection Basic Awareness Workshop

All Coaches, Club Children’s Officers (CCO) and Designated Liaison Persons (DLP) must first complete the 3-hour Child Welfare & Protection Basic Awareness Workshop.  This workshop educates participants on the implementation of best practices in safeguarding the welfare of children involved in sport.

Safeguarding 2 – Club Children’s Officer

A person appointed to the role of Club Children’s Officer within a club must have firstly completed Sport Irelands Safeguarding 1 (Child Welfare & Protection Basic Awareness workshop). They should also complete the Sport Irelands Club Children’s Officer 3-hour workshop. The aim of this workshop is to help the Club Children’s Officer to carry out their role and support the implementation of best practices in the club. Participants will also receive a Club Children’s Officer Action Planning document as part of the training.

Safeguarding 3 – Designated Liaison Person

A person appointed to the Designated Liaison Person position in a club must firstly complete Sport Irelands Child Welfare & Protection Basic Awareness Workshop and should complete the Sport Irelands Designated Liaison Person 3-hour workshop. A club may appoint the same person to both the CCO and DLP positions however best practice advises that they are kept as separate roles.

Club Children’s Officers (CCO)

Club Children’s Officers should be child-centred in focus. Their primary aim is to establish a child-centred ethos within the club. The CCO is the link between the children and the adults in the club.  They also have responsibility for monitoring and reporting to the Club Management Committee on how club policy impacts young people and Sports Leaders.

Designated Liaison Person (DLP)

Every club/organisation should designate a person to be responsible for dealing with any concerns about the protection of children. The Designated Liaison Person is responsible for reporting allegations or suspicions of child abuse to TULSA Child and Family Agency or Social Services (NI) and/or An Garda Siochán / PSNI. It is recommended that this person is a senior club person. However, if there is difficulty identifying a separate individual to take this role, the Club Children’s Officer can be appointed as Designated Liaison Person once the club/organisation is clear about the responsibilities of each role.  The organisation’s child protection policy and procedures should include the name and contact details of the Designated Liaison Person and the responsibilities attached to the role.

As the National Governing Body (NGB) for rowing on the island of Ireland, Rowing Ireland has NGB’s designated officers in place. They are:

  • Designated Officer ROI:  Tom Fennessey – 086 830 8610
  • Designated Officer NI: Brenda Ewing – 07979 253 900

Rowing Ireland would like to thank and congratulate our clubs for ensuring that we, and our clubs, continue to promote a positive experience and safeguard children and vulnerable persons from abuse or poor practice. We encourage all clubs to implement the correct guidance as we believe that everyone in rowing will benefit – participants, carers and coaches.

You can read more about our safeguarding policies and view templates for club safeguarding policies by following this link:  Rowing Ireland Safeguarding Guidance 

Pat Kiely

Club Support Officer