Cyber bullying (short)

Albury Wodonga Football Association acknowledges that Cyber bullying is becoming a significant threat to the safety and wellbeing of a whole generation of young people in our sporting community and beyond.

Whilst not wishing to limit or stop any discussion about our game, we wish to inform all members of our playing, coaching, officiating and administration communities that actions that contravene the FFA, FNSW and Victorian Codes of Conduct for Community Sport and Football, will be dealt with, by the AWFA Executive and Disciplinary board, and these actions will be considered as bringing the game into disrepute.

Cyber bullying involves harassment, insults and humiliation via technology such as email, mobile phones, social networking sites, instant messaging programs, chat rooms and websites. Other key considerations include issues of privacy, physical and psychological safety, and the preservation of a Club’s reputation and a sport’s image.

The internet is not a private space: it is a public place, and needs to be acknowledged as such. Comments posted on Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, Myspace etc are considered to be in the public domain.

Cyber safety is an issue that affects the whole community, and as such, solutions must come from a wide range of groups and Clubs. The ‘not my problem’ approach, which leaves others to deal with trouble, is unhelpful and alienating. Working cohesively and collaboratively with and within the wider community will result in a far better outcome.

It is crucial for Clubs to be aware of all issues relating to the misuse of technology and ensure that they send a very clear message to their members and the local community that such behaviour will not be tolerated. Club requirements regarding technology use can be included in codes of behaviour, member protection or related policies, guidelines and duty statements.

AWFA asks Clubs to investigate all incidents of reported Cyber bullying. As with all member -protection issues, AWFA will offer support to all clubs requesting help with dealing with the incidents if required.

The AWFA website contains a full version of this statement and also provides links that clubs can use as advice for dealing with incidents that can be distributed to players, coaches and parents.