CUAC Code of Conduct

In joining the CUAC community, you agree to abide by the following Code of Conduct.

When attending training and events, athletes (members of CUAC) are expected to act in a sensible way, to be responsible for their own behaviour and to do as coaches and officials ask.

CUAC is only as strong as its membership. You are the lifeblood of the club, and the club is here to serve you, but not at the expense of others. Respect towards one another, and in turn to the club, is imperative to creating an encouraging and empowering atmosphere for all members and coaches alike.


  • The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to ensure that standards of ethical behaviour are upheld by both athletes and coaches. Ethical behaviour comprises of: 
    • Integrity
    • Responsibility
    • Competence
    • Confidentiality

  • As a registered club of UK Athletics, this Code of Conduct complements, but does not supersede, the Codes of Practice and stated welfare policies of UK Athletics. This document has been created with the unique character of CUAC in mind.

  • Any members receiving personal or group coaching from the club’s coaches will be deemed to have accepted this Code and those policies of UK Athletics, and to endorse and subscribe to the principles and responsibilities embodied in them.

  • “CUAC” is the Cambridge University Athletics Club; “A coach” in this context is anyone who has signed a current coaching Agreement with CUAC; “an athlete” is anyone participating in any coached session or training session with CUAC, as a subscribed member of CUAC.

  • The athlete-coach relationship is a two-way relationship where the athlete’s well-being comes first. The core of the relationship is a mutual commitment by both the athlete and coach, to both the sport in general and, most importantly, to training.

  • Athletes and coaches will treat each other with mutual trust and respect.

  • Athletes and coaches agree that participating in, or continuing a training session, is a decision that can ultimately only be made by the individual athlete; coaches will not exert undue pressure on athletes, beyond reasonable encouragement. Bullying, use of critical language (beyond constructive criticism) and sarcasm, or otherwise undermining any athlete’s self-esteem are totally unacceptable.

  • Coaches will treat everyone who is participating in a coached session with equal dignity and respect, irrespective of their ability, gender, age, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or political persuasion.

  • The coach may collect a great deal of personal information about an athlete in order to help her/him achieve her/his goals. Therefore, the coach and athlete must reach agreement on what will be considered confidential and the coach must respect that agreement.

Roles and Responsibilities - Coaches

Coaches agree to:

  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every athlete, regardless of background or ability;
  • Place the welfare and safety of the athlete above the development of performance;
  • Challenge inappropriate behaviour or language by others;
  • Never put themselves in a position where exploitation or abuse of vulnerable athletes could occur or could have been thought to have occurred;
  • Update their coaching licence and education as and when required by UK Athletics;
  • Whilst in a coaching role, strictly observe a clear boundary between friendship and intimacy with athletes;
  • Never try to recruit, either covertly or overtly, athletes who are already receiving coaching;
  • Communicate any issues or concerns as soon as they arise to any of the following members of the CUAC Committee:
    • The President
    • The Honorary Secretary
    • The Senior Treasurer
    • The Trustees
  • Turn up in good time for each session and/or assure that there is adequate cover for each session provided, or adequate notice of cancellation;
  • Clarify, in advance, the content and purpose of a particular session, primarily by communicating session plans to Squad Leaders sufficiently in advance of the training week.
  • Lead sessions with enthusiasm and to the best of their abilities, consistently promoting the positive aspects of the sport (e.g. health and social benefits and fair play) and never condoning rule violations, or the use of prohibited or harmful substances, such as tobacco, narcotics and performance-enhancing drugs;
  • Update athletes on their progress and development, on a weekly basis, in the manner agreed with CUAC; 
  • Act as a good role model by consistently displaying good standards of behaviour, appearance and safe training practise in their own training;
  • Always ask the athlete’s permission and explain the reason why before touching the athlete;
  • Co-operate fully with other colleagues (e.g. other coaches, Committee members, officials, team managers, doctors, physiotherapists, governing bodies) in the best interests of the athlete;
  • Listen and be sensitive to athletes’ concerns and make them a primary concern when prescribing the training session;
  • Make clear the limits of their commitment, and any reasons why they may refuse to coach any particular athlete;
  • Invite and listen to feedback from the athletes they are coaching;
  • Recognise and accept when it is in the athlete’s interest to refer athletes to other coaches or other specialists for advice;
  • Report any suspected misconduct by other coaches to the appropriate authorities (the Committee, the Trustees, UK Athletics, police, as appropriate); and
  • Report any violations (suspected or otherwise) of the Code to the Committee and/or the Trustees.

Roles and Responsibilities - Athletes

Equally, athletes (CUAC members) agree to:

  • Accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance in training and in competition;
  • Treat others with fairness and respect, showing patience with others and respecting diversity;
  • Deliver honest and appropriate feedback when requested;
  • Report incidents and raise concerns as soon as they arise, in order to facilitate adequate management of issues;
  • Act in a dignified manner and not bring CUAC, or the sport, into disrepute;
  • Refrain from abusive language and irresponsible behaviour including behaviour that is dangerous to yourself or others, acts of violence, bullying, harassment and physical or sexual abuse;
  • Participate in sessions with enthusiasm and to the best of their abilities;
  • Encourage fellow athletes to attend training regularly;
  • Communicate openly with their coach and/or the Committee, should they feel that their development needs are not being met;
  • Inform their coach of any other coaching they are/plan on receiving;
  • Follow the coaches’ instructions, including taking responsibility for reading any briefings and risk assessments for the session;
  • Turn up in good time for the start of the session with suitable footwear and gear, and with adequate arrangements for post-training re-hydration and nutrition made;
  • Let the coach know of any factors liable to have an impact on their ability to train or compete or their long-term health (e.g. wellness or health issues, medication, injury, illness, impending or recent competition, work or home pressures);
  • Whilst in an athlete role, strictly observe a clear boundary between friendship and intimacy with the coach(es);
  • Avoid destructive behaviour and leave athletics venues as you find them;
  • Challenge anyone whose behaviour falls below these standards, and those of UKA Welfare policies;
  • Report any suspected misconduct by other coaches to the Committee in the first instance;
  • Give regular, informal feedback to the coach on how the session felt for them and whether there are any consequential problems;
  • Take personal responsibility for warming up before the session and cooling down including stretching after the session;
  • Show appreciation to those throughout the Club who help them participate in athletics, including the coaches;
  • Consistently promote positive aspects of the sport such as fair play, and never condone rule violations or the use of prohibited or age-inappropriate substances;
  • Never place undue pressure (beyond reasonable encouragement) on fellow athletes to perform, participate or compete; and
  • Report any violations (suspected or otherwise) of the Code to the Committee and/or the Trustees
  • Never train alone for field events or when using equipment (including hurdles). 
    • All athletes wishing to use train with equipment/for field events will bring another individual (coach, other athlete etc) to the track to ensure adequate supervision of the training;
  • If in possession of a storage cupboard key(s), sign a Key-User Agreement to ensure safe use and appropriate treatment of equipment.

Violation of this Code will lead to suspension of participation in the Club until further notice, and may further lead to removal from the Club.