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Coaches Code of Conduct

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Preamble

Sailing coaches and instructors play a vital role in the development of all sailors. They are instrumental in encouraging all sailors to expand their knowledge of seamanship, sportsmanship, and sailing in general. There is however the opportunity for coaches and instructors to abuse the power they hold in a coach/athlete relationship. The following code of conduct is developed to aid coaches and instructors to achieve a level of behavior, which will allow them to assist all sailors to the maximum. It is the responsibility of the employer to make every effort to ensure a positive working environment. Therefore, the onus rests with any employer to complete a criminal record check on all staff.

Coaches and Instructors Have a Responsibility to:

  1. Treat everyone fairly within the context of their activity, regardless of gender, place of origin, race, physical or mental disabilities, sexual orientation, religion, political beliefs, or economic status.
  2. Direct comments or criticism at the performance rather than at the athlete.
  3. Consistently display high personal standards and project a favorable image of sailing and coaching by:
    • Refraining from public criticism of other sailing coaches or instructors.
    • Abstaining from the use of tobacco products while in the presence of athletes or students.
    • Abstaining from the drinking of alcoholic beverages when working with under age athletes or students.
    • Promote responsible drinking.
    • Refrain from the use of profane, insulting, harassing, or otherwise offensive language in the conduct of his/her duties.
    • Refrain from the use of drugs or banned substances.
  4. Respect the skill level of athletes and students by:
    • Ensuring that the activity being undertaken is suitable for the age, experience and ability.
    • Educating athletes/students in their responsibility to contribute to a safe sailing environment.
    • Treat sailors and officials with respect and actively encourage athletes to do the same.
    • Encourage all sailors to demonstrate their own code of conduct.
    • Refrain from public criticism of Race Officers, Judges, Umpires and all other volunteers.

Coaches and Instructors Must:

  1. Ensure the safety of all sailors and fellow coaches/instructors.
  2. At no time become intimately and/or sexually involved with a student or athlete whom they are coaching/instructing. This includes requests for sexual favors, or threats of reprisal for the rejection of such requests.
  3. Respect the dignity of students and athletes. Verbal or physical behaviors that constitute harassment or abuse are not acceptable.
  4. Never allow the use of drugs and other banned substances.
  5. Never provide under age athletes or students with alcohol or tobacco products.

Process for Investigating an Alleged Breach of the CYA Coach/Instructor Code of Conduct

At All CYA Events:
At Canadian Yachting Association events the jury organized for the event shall have the primary responsibility for investigating an alleged breach of the CYA Coach/Instructor Code of Conduct. The jury organized for the event, shall call a hearing, or take whatever measures necessary to investigate the complaint and to determine whether the allegations have basis in fact. The jury may take whatever disciplinary actions it seems appropriate including giving the coach/instructor a reprimand, and suspending the individual from coaching/instructing for part of or the entire event where the breach occurred. Any discipline actions taken by the jury shall be reported to the Canadian Yachting Association with a recommendation of whether further action should be considered by the CYA. At all CYA camps, clinics and seminars the CYA representative(s) attending the event shall be responsible for calling a hearing, and for pursuing measures deemed necessary.

Penalties and Discipline:
Failure to follow the CYA Coach/Instructor Code of Conduct at all CYA events may result in one or more of the following actions:

  • Disqualification of the sailors under the supervision of the coach/instructor concerned in one or more races, in the event where the incident occurred.
  • Giving the coach/instructor a reprimand.
  • Suspending the individual from coaching/instructing for part of or the entire event.
  • Termination of the participation of the coach/instructor concerned at the event where the incident occurred.
  • Expulsion of the coach/instructor from the site of the event.
  • Recommending to CYA that the coach/instructor shall not be considered for a coaching/instructing position with CYA for a period from three months to four years.

All Other Events and Coaching/Instructing Situations:
The primary responsibility for investigating an alleged breach of the CYA Coach/Instructor Code of Conduct lies with the coach's/instructor's employer. When the Canadian Yachting Association receives a written complaint about a coach's/instructor's conduct and the coach/instructor is employed by a member club or provincial sailing association, the written complaint will be directed to the employer to investigate. The coach's/instructor's employer shall call a hearing, or take what ever measures necessary to investigate the complaint and to determine whether the allegations have basis in fact. The CYA may take action in any case where the employer does not.

Within sixty days of receiving a copy of the written complaint concerning a breach of the CYA Coach/Instructor Code of Conduct, the member club or provincial sailing association will report to the CYA in writing. If the member club or provincial sailing association decides that the coach/instructor did breach the CYA Coach/Instructor Code of Conduct it shall also indicate what actions it took to discipline the coach/instructor. These may include a warning, a suspension from employment, or dismissal.

The member club or provincial sailing association may, in its report, recommend that the Canadian Yachting Association take further disciplinary action against the coach/instructor. The Canadian Yachting Association may conduct an investigation and when appropriate take further action. Such action may include prohibition from coaching/instructing at CYA sponsored events or de-certification of the coach's/instructor's CYA coaching levels.

Appeal Procedure:

To appeal a disciplinary decision, coaches/instructors should apply in writing to the CYA within 30 days of the decision. A committee formed of members from both the Training and Racing Divisions shall hear all appeals.

When the Canadian Yachting Association receives a written complaint about a coach's/instructor's behavior and the coach/instructor is employed by the CYA, it will follow its published guidelines for investigating the alleged breach.

"You haven't won the race if in winning the race you have lost the respect of your competitors."
Paul Elvström (4-time Olympic Gold Medallist in the Finn Dinghy)