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Thread: Under 18's using gym changing rooms.

      
  1. #1

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    Default Under 18's using gym changing rooms.

    Can I ask if other members have had this concern, and if so how have they solved it?
    The gym I use has recently started to encourage 16 - 18 year olds to use the facility. No problem with encouraging a healthy life style, however, the children use the gym after school meaning about 3.15 - 3.30 each day a number, usually up to 10ish, use the changing rooms. This is often about the time I finish my daily session.
    Given the RFU's strict "don't change with Under 18's" policy how can I ensure I am not putting myself at risk of any accusations when using the gym changing rooms. I have raised the issue with the gym management who were less than interested.
    Any help and advise would be most welcome. A change of time using the gym would be very difficult given my working arrangements.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Under 18's using gym changing rooms.

    Interesting. I am going to go out on a limb here.


    I'm completely fed up of the rubbish that gets spouted at us refs and the changing room scenario. I reffed a private schools 7's tournament last year. Brand new balls, water bottles sparkly clean, £30,000 per annum school fees. Organiser less than interested when I turned up. Waved a hand in the direction of some changing rooms. I go off there to discover under 16's changing. Of back and tell Mr Nobby and he seems dis interested and says "oh! well when they have gone you can change in there". Obviously less than ideal. Of course they have a strict policy on this, but then they don't follow it. All gong and no dinner as a friend of mine used to say.


    I told my advisor about this the last time we met "insist on a separate changing room or you go home" he said, just didn't feel worth it really.


    It it is the total inconsistency of the rules that hacks me off.


    And I'm not convinced AT ALL that it's the right way to go about dealing with the situations, because it is all based on the supposition that under age boys and adult referees can't peacefully co exist. They did for many, many, many years and the situation we have now is in my view an unpleasant one.


    The children are growing up believing that most adults can't be trusted, when in fact, most of us can. I know that the policy is out there to protect me as much as them, but personally I would rather take the risk than have a Stasi state control what we can or can't do.


    My 15 year old daughter missed a lift last week. I thought she might and told her to use her initiative. Granted we live in Devon, but she calmly hitch hiked into town with a bloke she waved down. That's my girl........Grandma of course horrified, but how much does that do for her confidence? If we don't encourage this we are breeding a new generation of boring young farts.......


    I await the brickbats..........

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Under 18's using gym changing rooms.

    has there ever been a time when the referee would change in the same room as the U16s?

    It was a long time ago, but I can remember being an U16, and I don't recall the referee ever getting changed in our changing room with us.

    Do you want to get changed with the U16?

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    Default Re: Under 18's using gym changing rooms.

    Taffy, I was at a merchant navy school. The day we finished our A Levels the Head would shake our hands and say "Off you go then". We then got three days to get as far way from the school as we could using our own means. There was a map in the assembly room marking each boy's progress. As you said, it built our confidence.

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    Default Re: Under 18's using gym changing rooms.

    Oldman, I assume your gym is in no way connected to the local rugby club, and is simply a resource available to the Community.

    The last Labour government's strictures and policies on child safety were a huge, wasteful and anti-Community overreaction to a genuine problem of kiddy-fiddling in certain areas of society. They demonstrably made children less safe, not more, as adults felt unable to come to the aid of a child in distress. It was thus welcome that the current government (motivated it has to be said as much by money as by strategy) hugely scaled back the outrageous bureaucracy and suspicion inherent in the previous regime. Common sense is now the watchword.

    With that in mind, places such as public gyms and swimming pools are the defining areas of the change in culture. Scantily-clad adults may encounter scantily-clad children. Whereas Labour would have seen this as a huge problem, quite likely requiring CRB checks on anyone wishing to use the establishment coupled with the employment of beefy minders to patrol the facility and keep age groups apart, the common sense approach takes into account the very public space, the existence on the premises of lifeguards and gym trainers, and (crucially) the known incidence of problems in these environments in the past. The risk factor is thus deemed pretty low.

    From your own perspective, the RFU has no interest in what you do in your external gym. The guidance it gives to anyone working with children is sensible - avoid being alone with minors, don't offer them lifts home, don't touch them unless it is essential. I'd guess your concern relates to the first - you are in the changing room and 10 minors arrive to change. What defence do you have if they collude in making up a story about you?

    The answer is none - just as you have no defence if, when taking your child to watch Paddington, the noisy group of young teenagers next to you claims you've been sticking your hand up one of the girls' skirts. You can allow such fears to rule your life, or you can accept the (very low) risk and move on. The decision has to be yours.
    Don't feed the pedant!

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    Default Re: Under 18's using gym changing rooms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taffy View Post
    I await the brickbats..........
    With you all the way, Mate.
    Don't feed the pedant!

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    Default Re: Under 18's using gym changing rooms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dixie View Post
    With you all the way, Mate.
    all the way where?
    I am not clear whether Taffy is complaining about not being given his own changing room, or complaining about not being able to change in with the U16s.


    and also not sure why oldman's original post prompts the complaints about undue caution : he is reporting that in his gym the management DON'T see a problem with 16-18 yr olds and adults all using the same changing room. So - no scaremongering to see there.
    Last edited by crossref; 05-12-14 at 12:12.

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    Default Re: Under 18's using gym changing rooms.

    So Oldman has a legitimate concern about having to get changed in front of minors.....and Dixie turns it into a rant about the Labour Government.....funny how some people's minds work?

    Follow my Award Winning blog The Rugby Ref


  9. #9

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    Default Re: Under 18's using gym changing rooms.

    Quote Originally Posted by crossref View Post
    all the way where?
    I am not clear whether Taffy is complaining about not being given his own changing room, or complaining about not being able to change in with the U16s.


    and also not sure why oldman's original post prompts the complaints about undue caution : he is reporting that in his gym the management DON'T see a problem with 16-18 yr olds and adults all using the same changing room. So - no scaremongering to see there.
    I am complaining about


    Mr Knobbies as previously mentioned
    the inconsistency of it all
    the distasteful lack of trust

    And yes, I would prefer my own space to have a cup of tea and get changed in. Do not think it is too much to ask........

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Under 18's using gym changing rooms.

    so Taffy - what you are complaining about is that there was no ref's changing room, and Mr Nobby couldn't give a toss about you.

    I am fully on your side.

    That players were U16s is a red herring - you'd have had exactly the same complaint had they been vets or women. You want your own changing room, and to be treated properly.

    I am not at all clear what you mean about lack trust, as Mr Nobby DID trust you. It wasn't lack of trust that kept you out of the changing rooms is was that you didn't want to share them (quite rightly)
    Last edited by crossref; 05-12-14 at 13:12.

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