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Anti-Bullying Policy

Our youth football club has a zero-tolerance policy towards bullying in any form. We promote respect, inclusion, and empathy among all members. Our policy includes clear definitions, reporting procedures, confidential investigations, and disciplinary actions. We also prioritize education and awareness to create a culture of kindness and support.

Bristol Central is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our members so they can participate in football in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our club. If bullying does occur, all club members or parents should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING Club. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the Club Welfare Officer, or any committee member.

Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.

Bullying can be:

  • Emotional being unfriendly, excluding (emotionally and physically) sending hurtful text messages, tormenting, (e.g. hiding football boots/shin guards, threatening gestures)

  • Physical pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence

  • Sexual unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments

  • Discrimination racial taunts, graffiti, gestures, homophobic comments, jokes about disabled people, sexist comments,

  • Verbal name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing

Cyberbullying is when a person uses technology i.e. mobile phones or the internet (including social networking sites, chat rooms, instant messenger, tweets), to upset someone. Bullies often feel anonymous and ‘distanced’ from the incident when it takes place online and ‘bystanders’ can easily become bullies themselves by forwarding the information on. There is a growing trend for bullying to occur online or via texts – bullies no longer rely on being physically near to the young person.

Trolling is the name given to posting deliberately offensive comments on people’s social media pages aimed at causing upset and distress. This type of behaviour could result in legal action.

Bullying because of discrimination occurs when bullying is motivated by a prejudice against certain people or groups of people. This may be due to their gender, age, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, disability or ability. Generally, these look like other sorts of bullying.

Bristol Central is committed to ensuring our website and/or social networking pages are being used appropriately and any online bullying will be dealt with swiftly and appropriately in line with procedures detailed in this policy.

Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying and everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Bristol Central is committed to responding promptly and effectively to issues of bullying. Bullying will not be tolerated. Signs that someone may be affected by bullying can be found in the Appendix.


It is the responsibility of everyone who supports Bristol Central to challenge bullying regardless of which form it may take. All bullying incidents should be reported to the Club Welfare Officer or a member of the club committee.

If the perpetrator is a young person then their parents will be informed, and the Club Welfare Officer will talk to the young person and their parents about why their comments are unacceptable. If necessary and appropriate, the police will be consulted.

A reconciliation meeting between the parties involved should be offered, as it may be that a genuine apology solves the problem. If this fails/not appropriate a small panel of three (made up from the Chairman, the Club Welfare Officer, the Secretary, Committee members) will meet with the parent and child alleging bullying to get details of the allegation. Minutes will be taken for clarity, which should be agreed by all as a true account.

The same three persons as above will meet with the alleged perpetrator and their parent/s and tell them about the incident raised in order to give them their opportunity to give their view of the allegation. Minutes will again be taken and agreed.

If the panel agree that bullying has in their view taken place, the perpetrator will be warned and informed that any further bullying will result in temporary or permanent suspension. Consideration will be given as to whether a reconciliation meeting between parties is appropriate at this time.

In some cases, the parent of the perpetrator or bullied player may be asked to attend training sessions, if they are able to do so, and if appropriate. The club committee will monitor the situation for a given period to ensure the bullying is not being repeated.

The coaches of both individuals will be made aware of the concerns and outcome of the process.

In the case of adults reported to be bullying anyone within the club under 18, the County Welfare Officer will also be informed and will advise on action to be taken where appropriate. This may include action by The FA Safeguarding Team and in more serious cases referral to the Police and/or Children’s Social Care.

Appendix - Signs of Bullying

A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:

  • says he or she is being bullied

  • is unwilling to go to club sessions

  • becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence

  • feels ill before training sessions

  • comes home with clothes torn or training equipment damaged

  • has possessions go “missing”

  • asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay the bully)

  • has unexplained cuts or bruises

  • is frightened to say what’s wrong

  • gives improbable excuses for any of the above.

In more extreme cases:

  • starts stammering

  • cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares

  • becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable

  • is bullying other children or siblings

  • stops eating

  • attempts or threatens suicide or runs away.

These signs and behaviours may indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.

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