Heywood Cricket Club is now a Clubmark-accredited club. So it’s about time we told you what this actually means.
Thanks to the efforts of secretary Gwen Edwards primarily, and others such as child welfare officer Roger Smethurst and Bobby Cross, Heywood Cricket Club is now deemed a safe and progressive environment for junior cricket.
Clubmark – although applicable to other sports – is in this case administered nationally by the England and Wales Cricket Board. With this accreditation, we can demonstrate that everything is in place at Crimble to ensure any young person left in the care of the club is in the safest hands.
To achieve Clubmark, we have had to do a number of things. These include:
- Sending coaches through Level 2 coaching courses;
- Making sure everyone involved in any way with junior cricket is first aid trained and has had a background check to ensure they are suitable to be involved with children;
- Introduce junior registration nights so we are aware of any detail – no matter how small – that could affect your child;
- Create a junior noticeboard at Crimble so all contact details of any child at the club is easily available.
These procedures, coupled with our ability to demonstrate that we are a progressive club with committed members and plans for the future, have all enabled us to achieve Clubmark accreditation.
Now, coaching nights are structured, with plans formulated by coaches to ensure ALL aspects of the game are covered and that no child will be left unsupervised.
We have a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs and under-age drinking, and everyone involved with junior cricket has been trained to be observant towards children’s behaviour. This, although we hope it doesn’t happen, enables us to spot changes in children’s behaviour that could be evidence of deeper problems. We are concerned with your child’s welfare.
Clubmark is also giving us access to funding for projects to further develop the club and provide a great playing and social environment for the future.
Gwen says: “This was to formalise and make sure there is consistency in the way the youngsters are dealt with.
“Prior to us getting Clubmark, if anything would have happened to a child down here or we had had an incident, we could have been in trouble.
“Personal injury, abuse, anything like that, we would have had no procedures in place whatsoever. We didn’t even know the telephone numbers for the junior players and if there was a major accident we didn’t even have any way of contacting parents.
“Now there is a junior registration evening, a junior section noticeboard that has all the details of who everyone is.
“Roger Smethurst is the child welfare officer, and his face is well known so anyone knows that if there is a problem they can go Roger. We have had to get quite a lot of paperwork to adopt the ECB Safe Hands policy (DOWNLOAD HERE), which is their bible with regards to how you handle children.”
Roger says: “Basically, if you are involved in the running of a children’s team, even if you are not the coach but the manager, there is an expectation that you should be CRB checked and we try to get everyone on a safeguarding and protecting course as well.
“That is basically to identify child protection, child neglect, child welfare issues.
“What it is saying is that although we are providing a facility to come and play cricket, while your child is here we are responsible for their welfare and we should be looking out to make sure that if there is anything wrong we are in the position to pick that up and relate that to the relevant authorities.”
To find out more about Clubmark and what it means, visit www.clubmark.org.uk.