I have recently been appointed as the assistant club development officer within the Telford and Wrekin Sport and Leisure department. My intention is to improve the general running of sports clubs within the local area, and give as much quality guidance as is possible. I have come to the conclusion that ethics and values play a key role in sport, and are often overlooked in many circumstances. In response to this conclusion, I intend to provide a document, displaying information and guidance on the correct ethics and values that should be applied in a sporting environment.
Within this document I will provide examples of different sporting situations, and show how they can be dealt with effectively by applying basic ethics and values. Within the sporting world, there are many factors that can cause issues regarding the correct ethical responses of coaches, organisations and participants. I will include three case studies as examples, including different factors that may affect the way people are treated in sporting situations. Different scenarios could be due to disability, gender, race, age, or culture. My first case study is as follows.
Case study 1 o “Nicola is in her third year at senior school. She has her subject options coming soon. She decides that she would like to take Physical Education, and would like to get more involved in the sporting activities in school. She is disabled, and must remain in a wheelchair. When she went to talk to the PE teacher about taking on physical education, the teacher tried to turn Nicola away, suggesting that she was not suitable, and wouldn’t be able to do the course or complete any of the work correctly. When Nicola turned away to leave the PE department office, she heard giggling and sly remarks between the teachers.
Nicola did not return to the PE department and lost all hope of completing GCSE PE. ” In order to effectively deal with this situation, an overseer, perhaps from a higher place in the school could be appointed to supervise teaching staff; although this could prove difficult and costly in some circumstances. For ethics and values to be correctly applied and in order for any situation to be resolved, there needs to be a certain amount of cooperation between staff, students, and the organisation or management under which they are placed.
Nicola should have been to see a senior member of staff who could have then resolved the situation or directed Nicola to the right people to deal with it. On the other hand, Nicola may have felt embarrassed at speaking to a member of staff about the situation. This is why staff or coaches must try and be approachable and understanding at all times so that participants feel comfortable in their surroundings and know that they can tell the coach/instructor anything that may be bothering them or restricting their confidence.
As for the staff, this is an unacceptable and careless way for them to deal with the situation, and they must understand this. When dealing with a scenario such as above, care must be taken not to offend the pupil any further, and to discipline the staff correctly. The coach should receive a strong verbal warning and a caution in whichever disciplinary code you decide to imply within your club. An apology to the student would also be a fair way of treating this situation.
As for disabled sports, when in your club you must be sure not to unknowingly or subconsciously discriminate against, or leave any disabled participants out. It is essential that you include them at all times and make them feel comfortable in their surroundings, even if it means adapting game play or exercises to suit their needs. To maintain good ethics and values when dealing with disabled people, perhaps in a similar scenario, it would be most suitable to complete regular checks on your staff and how they are dealing with participants or members at your club.
It would also be at yours and the member’s best interests if you were to advertise the fact that there is someone there for them to talk to and resolve any problems that they may have. This may be by means of a discreet problems box or a feedback system where you regularly and systematically speak with your members to ensure that they are enjoying their time at your club and have encountered no discrimination or unfair treatment due to disability.
When dealing with disabled participants it is also highly important to ensure that the correct facilities are available so that they have the same rights and abilities as everyone else as far a possible. Things such as low light switches, low reception counters, handrails, lifts, ramps, and toilets. This ensures equality in the sporting environment. Also specialist activities should be considered for the disabled participants or existing activities should be adapted so that disabled participants can join in and not feel excluded or victimised.