Rugby Football Club


Guidance on Blandford Club Website, Mobile and On-Line Communication with Children

This guidance is important. It is based on current legislation and guidance. It reflects legal duties which Blandford RFC owes its members. Implementing this guidance should help discharge its legal obligations.

Blandford RFC Websites

Websites are a key part of the daily operation of most clubs. They are probably the most flexible way to communicate with members, and to anyone interested in joining a club. They also have the potential to be a very safe way to communicate with children, given their wide accessibility.

However, in the same way that a club has responsibility for the physical safety of a junior member when visiting the club’s premises, the club must also ensure that there is nothing on its website which could harm a child, directly or indirectly. The Mini and Youth Section Blandford RFC is responsible for the content of the Mini and Youth page on the club website.

There are 2 key risks to guard against, and which are constant themes in this guidance:

Website content generally

There are three main child protection risks associated with content:


Weblogs (also known as Blogs) are a type of content which is becoming commonplace on websites. The creation of a blog is straightforward. It does not require technical or design expertise, and it can be updated remotely. Blogs present two particular challenges:

Currently the Blandford RFC Website does not have the facility for a blog.

Linked sites

Many sites contain links to other sites. This could be for commercial reasons, such as the sites of sponsors or advertisers, or simply to communicate information to be found on other websites. Before creating a link, a club should check thoroughly the content of the other website, both for child protection reasons, and to ensure the content poses no other risk to the club’s reputation. Once a link is included on the site, the club should check its content periodically (the frequency of the checks depending on how frequently the content changes), and remove any link immediately if concerns arise.

An additional concern with linked commercial sites is inappropriate advertising or marketing aimed at children. The advertising industry is self-regulating through the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), and has produced detailed guidelines covering marketing to children.


Photos and video

Photos and video clips can make any child featured vulnerable to grooming if information about the child (name, address, activities or interests) is also disclosed. Furthermore, posting an image on the website carries a risk that the image could be taken and adapted for an inappropriate use.


Webcams and live image streams

The use of webcams on websites is becoming increasingly common, with pictures and sound streamed live. It can be a very effective way to portray a club’s activities and atmosphere.

However, control is difficult. Any live image stream, by its nature, cannot be checked before transmission. Also, depending on the siting of the camera, it may not be possible to limit the people whose image or speech is transmitted. Furthermore, there is a risk that images or speech could help identify children, or contain personal information about those children, and the image stream could attract unwelcome interest from potential abusers. There is less risk when streaming a match or training session, compared to a social event. Schools are advised not to have live image streams on publicly available websites.

Risks are lessened if the streamed images are on a part of the website where access is restricted, such as a members’ section. However, such restricted access prevents the images generating interest in the club among members of the public.


NOTE: Blandford RFC does not currently use any webcam or live streaming on their website.

Blandford RFC Facebook and Blandford Mini and Youth Facebook

The club have two dedicated Facebook pages for use by club members. Senior club members may on application to the Facebook Administrator be given the appropriate permissions to view posts and add comments to the page. Non-members may only view posts.

The Mini and Youth Section also have a Facebook page. This page only allows for non-members’ to view and like pages. All posts are reviewed prior to being added to the site by the Mini and Youth Facebook Administrator.

Mobile and on-line communication with children

Technology is moving very fast in this area. There are now many different ways for people to communicate. In addition to land-lines, there are mobile phones for voice and text, and most new phones incorporate cameras that take still shots and video. Two-way video calling is set to grow fast. On-line communication can be by email, instant messaging, chatrooms, and social networking sites.

The risks posed by such methods of communication arise from:

In sport, there are additional risks:

Against this background, a club needs to establish rules covering how adults connected with that club communicate with children connected with that club.


Implementing guidance

The welfare of children at Blandford RFC will only be protected properly if this guidance is implemented effectively.


Blandford RFC are proud to be sponsored by the following local businesses,
please click on individual logos to visit Sponsor websites:

Thank you to our Principal Sponsors:

J & G Environmental
Waste Management Specialists
TK Joinery Ltd
Bespoke High Quality Joinery
Drinks Wholesaler
Vivien Horder
Estate Agents
Ward Goodman
Accountancy & Financial Services

Thank you to our Team Sponsors:

Chaffers Estate Agents
Costello Lettings
Dexil Ltd
Friendly Dog Collars
Electric Center
Sunrise Business Park
JDG Structural Steel
(07860 570258)

Blandford RFC would also like to thank our Club Sponsors: