The Individual should:

Respect every child/young person’s need for, and rights to, an environment where safety, security, praise, recognition and opportunity for taking responsibility are available.

Respect every individual’s feelings and views.

Recognise that everyone is important and that our differences make each of us special.

Show appreciation of others by acknowledging individual qualities, contributions and progress.

Ensure safety by having rules and practices carefully explained and displayed for all to see.


Bullying will not be accepted or condoned. All forms of bullying will be addressed.

Bullying can include:

  • physical pushing, kicking, hitting, pinching etc
  • name calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, persistent teasing and emotional
  • torment through ridicule, humiliation and the continual ignoring of individuals
  • sectarian/racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
  • sexual comments and/or suggestions
  • unwanted physical contact.

Children from ethnic minorities, disabled children, young people who are gay or lesbian, or those with learning difficulties are more vulnerable to this form of abuse and may well be targeted.

Everybody has the responsibility to work together to stop bullying – the coach/volunteer, the parent/guardian, the child/young person, the official.

Commitment to the early identification of bullying and prompt, collective action to deal with it.

Policy and practice should be agreed through consultation with the IFA coaches/volunteers, parents/guardians and children/young people.

Children/young people should be encouraged to take a role in stopping bullying in Football.

Policy and practice should be reviewed regularly in the light of changing needs and changes adopted by other agencies (e.g. schools).

Coaches/volunteers should have access to appropriately trained staff for support when dealing with bullying.

 Support to the child/young person

 Children/young people should know who will listen to and support them.

Any advice and assistance should be given by an experienced coach/volunteer.

Children/young people should have access to Helpline numbers.

Children/young people should be told what is being recorded, in what context and why.

Systems should be established to open the door to children/young people wishing to talk about bullying or any other issue that affects them. Barriers to talking need to be broken down to enable children/young people to approach adults.

Anyone who reports an incident of bullying will be listened to carefully and be supported, whether it’s the child/young person being bullied or the child/young person who is bullying.

Any reported incident of bullying will be investigated objectively and will involve listening carefully to all those involved.

Children/young people being bullied will be supported and assistance given to uphold their right to play and live in a safe environment which allows their healthy .development

Those who bully will be supported and encouraged to stop bullying.

Sanctions involving long periods of isolation, or which diminish and make individuals look or feel foolish in front of others, should be avoided.

 Support to the parents/guardians

Parents/guardians should be advised on policies and procedures in relation to bullying.

Any incident of bullying will be discussed with the child/young person’s parents/guardians.

Parental/guardian advice on action will be sought and agreements made as to what action should be taken.

Advice on coping with bullying should be given.

Support should be offered to parents/guardians including information on other agencies or support lines.

Useful Contacts

  • Childline- 0800 1111
  • NSPCC Helpline- 0808 800 5000
  • (an online service for young people)
  • Kidscape- 020 7730 3300
  • Parents Advice Centre- Parenting Education Project, Parenting Forum NI and The Men’s Project- 0808 8010 722,
  • NI Anti-Bullying Forum-