Cotswold Allrunners is committed to providing a safe environment for children and young people under the age of 18. Essential to this commitment, is the need to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to protect children and young people from the inappropriate use of their images in resources, internet and media publications.
There have been concerns about the risks posed directly and indirectly to children and young people through the use of photographs on athletics websites and other publications. The two main concerns are that photographs can be used as a means of identifying children and young people when they are accompanied with personal information, for example, – this is X who is a member of Hometown Athletic Club who likes Westlife and supports Manchester United. There are concerns that this information may be used inappropriately which could then make a child more vulnerable to an individual who may wish to start to “groom” that child for abuse. Secondly, the content of the photo can be used or adapted for inappropriate use. While this is rare in athletics, there is evidence of adapted material, not necessarily from athletics, finding its way onto child pornography sites. When assessing the potential risks in the use of images of athletes, the most important factor is the potential of the inappropriate use of images of children.
By adopting this Photographic Policy Cotswold Allrunners aims to put into place the best possible practice to protect children and young people wherever and whenever photographs and recorded images are taken and stored.
These guidelines adopt the following key principles:
- The interests and welfare of children taking part in athletics are paramount
- Parents/carers and children have a right to decide whether children’s images are to be taken, and how those images may be used
- Parents/carers and children must provide written consent for children’s images to be taken and used wherever practicable. It should be accepted that children may appear in the background of general pictures taken at events and that it may not be practical or reasonable to seek consent in all circumstances.
- Images should convey the best principles and aspects of athletics fairness and fun
- Care should be taken to ensure that images are not sexual or exploitative in nature, nor open to obvious misinterpretation and misuse
- Images should only be taken by authorised persons, as agreed in the protocol for a particular event
- All images of children should be securely stored
- In the case of images used on websites, particular care must be taken to ensure that no identifying details facilitate contact with a child by a potential abuser such as details beyond the child’s club and coach without the consent of the parents or carers.
Publication of Images
Wherever possible Cotswold Allrunners will aim to follow these key guidelines.
- Ask for written permission from the athlete and parent/carers to take and use their image wherever practicable. This ensures that they are aware of the way the image is intended to be used to represent the sport. The Consent Form should be used wherever possible. It should be accepted that children may appear in the background of general pictures taken at events and that it may not be practical or reasonable to seek consent in all circumstances.
- If the athlete is named, consider if it is necessary and appropriate to use their photograph and if possible seek parental consent.
- If a photograph is used, avoid captioning the name of the athlete directly. NEVER publish personal details (email addresses, telephone numbers, addresses etc) of a child or young person
- Only use images of young athletes in suitable dress (Tracksuit, or competition clothing) to reduce the risk of inappropriate use
- Try to focus on the activity rather than a particular child where appropriate and where possible use photographs that represent the broad range of children and young people taking part in athletics. This might include both boys and girls, children from ethnic minority communities and children and young people with disabilities.
- Ensure that images reflect positive aspects of children’s involvement in athletics (enjoyment/competition etc).