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Bullying is when people repeatedly and intentionally use words or actions against someone or a group of people to cause distress and risk to their wellbeing. It can happen anywhere and be physical, verbal, emotional, and it also includes messages, public statements and behaviour online intended to cause distress or harm.*

Examples of bullying could include giving someone nasty looks or constantly teasing them, repeatedly saying nasty things about someone behind their back, harassing someone based on their race, sex, religion, gender or a disability, repeatedly hurting someone physically or excluding someone from a group.

Sport clubs should take a zero-tolerance approach to bullying. Committees have a responsibility to take action to prevent bullying occurring in sport and manage it, should it occur.

What club committees can do

There are 8 key steps club committees should follow to create safe and fair clubs. These are essential foundations to preventing bullying and other issues.

Specifically, when it comes to bullying consider:

  • Have a good understanding of what is bullying
  • Be familiar with the existing policies your sport has in this area and promote them often to members eg. Member Protection Policy and/or Codes of Conduct. These are generally set by your national or state peak body.
  • Have committee, volunteers and club members complete free online training in discrimination and harassment at Play by the Rules.
  • Lead by example – create a bullying free culture by dealing with issues promptly and continually education members on appropriate behavior.

Information and resources to help

National Office for eSaftey 

eSafety issues 

Play by the Rules

About cyberbullying 

Bullying in sport 

Bullying free environments 

General information 

Australian Human Rights Commission - What is Bullying 

Bullying No Way website

Safe Work NSW – workplace bullying

NSW Department of Education – Anti-Bullying

*Australian Human Rights Commission

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