How your sport looks after all its participants (for young adults aged 13-17)


This information is for young people aged 13 to 17 years old. It helps you understand your sport’s Member Protection Policy.

The Member Protection Policy explains the rules to make sure your sport is a safe, positive, inclusive and supportive place for EVERYONE.

This Policy applies to everyone who participates in your sport – including players, athletes, coaches, employees, managers, staff and parents. It explains how everyone within your sport should be treated, and what to do if you think you, or someone else, is being treated poorly.

To understand how your sport looks after the safety of young people and children in particular, refer to your sport’s Child Safeguarding Policy.

How should people in sport be treated?

Everyone who participates in your sport has the right to feel safe, included, supported and happy. Members of your sport should behave in a way that is welcoming, respectful and kind.

Anything that makes you or another person feel uncomfortable, unsafe, threatened, or unwelcome is not ok.

The Member Protection Policy makes sure that everyone in your sport works together to protect each other by:

  • Treating each other with respect. Everyone in your sport should speak to each other respectfully and in a kind and encouraging way. They must not bully, repeatedly say hurtful things, or talk to each other in a way that makes people feel unwelcome. No one should be treated unfairly due to gender, culture, race, disability or sexuality.
  • Protecting each other from discrimination, harassment, bullying and abuse. Everyone in your sport should feel like they are being treated fairly and with kindness in a safe and supportive way.
  • Reminding each other of the rules. It’s everyone’s responsibility to show good behaviour and be aware of the Member Protection Policy rules.
  • Not accepting bad behaviour. Your sport should recognise if there is bad behaviour and encourage people to speak out, so they can fix any problems and make your sport a safe and happy place to be.

What behaviours are not allowed in your sport?

You and other participants in your sport should feel safe from:

  • Abusive behaviour including physical, sexual, emotional and verbal abuse, or neglect.
  • Bullying by repeatedly using words or actions to cause distress to someone else on purpose. This could be things like name-calling, spreading rumours, or deliberately excluding someone.
  • Harassment by being nasty, teasing or threatening to someone else.
  • Sexual misconduct where someone is invading the privacy of another person by touching them in places, or talking to them in a way that makes them feel upset, scared or embarrassed. It can include unwelcome touching, unwanted invitations or requests for dates or sex, sexually explicit or suggestive messages, or intrusive questions about their personal life or body.
  • Unlawful discrimination is making someone feel like they’re being treated unfairly or differently to everyone else because of things like where they were born, the colour of their skin, their religion, family situation, sexual preference or a disability.
  • Victimisation is where someone wants to make a complaint about bad behaviour, or have made a complaint, and other members of the sport make them feel unsafe for doing so.
  • Vilification is someone spreading nasty stories or hatred about another person in the sport because of something that might make them seem different to others.

What can people do if they think someone might not be safe?

The rules say that it is the shared responsibility of everyone in your sport to keep an eye on behaviour and report anyone who might be making someone feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

If you see bad behaviour towards another member, or you, talk to an adult you trust. You, or they, can report it to Sport Integrity Australia via the online reporting form.

What can you do if you feel unsafe?

If you, or anyone under the age of 18, is feeling unsafe, you are protected by the Child Safeguarding Policy. This is a policy especially created for you, and is separate to this Member Protection Policy.

The Child Safeguarding Policy says that adults who work or volunteer at your sport have a shared responsibility to support and help you. They must listen to you, hear what you say and do something to stop anything bad from happening to you.

If you feel really upset about something that has happened to you or someone else, you should speak to someone you trust to get help to make it stop. This can be a family member, or an adult you trust in your sport.

Other ways you can get help

Free and confidential* online and phone counselling/advice services. You can call or chat anytime, for any reason.

*Confidential means the person you speak to will not share what you tell them with anybody without your agreement, unless you or someone else is in danger.