Code of Conduct / Ethics
Approved by: Williams Lake Blue Fins designated club representative(s)

Code of Conduct and Ethics Policy

 In this document “Organization” refers to Williams Lake Blue Fins 



1.     Terms in this Code are defined as follows:

a)     Abuse Includes Psychological Maltreatment, Physical Maltreatment, Neglect, and/or Grooming of Vulnerable Participants by Persons in Authority and which can have the following warning signs:

                                      i.         Recurrent unexplained injuries

                                     ii.         Alert behaviour, individual seems to always be expecting something bad to happen

                                    iii.         Often wears clothing that covers up their skin, even in warm weather

                                    iv.         Individual startles easily, shies away from touch or shows other skittish behaviour

                                     v.         Constantly seems fearful or anxious about doing something wrong

                                    vi.         Withdrawn from peers and adults

                                  vii.         Behaviour fluctuates between extremes (e.g., extremely cooperative, or extremely demanding)

                                 viii.         Acting inappropriately younger than their age (like an infant; throwing tantrums)

                                    ix.         Acting out in an inappropriate sexual way with toys or objects

                                     x.         Self-harm (e.g., cutting, burning or other harmful activities)

                                    xi.         Not wanting to be alone with a particular individual 

b)     Athlete – An individual who is an Athlete Participant in the Organization who is subject to the policies of the Organization and to this Code.

c)     Bullying - is offensive behaviour and/or abusive treatment of a Participant that typically, but not always, involves an abuse of power. Examples of behaviour that may constitute Bullying include, but are not limited to:

                                      i.         Spreading malicious rumours, gossip, or innuendos with the intent of causing harm or suffering to a Participant

                                     ii.         Excluding or isolating a Participant socially with the intent of causing them harm or suffering

                                    iii.         Making offensive jokes or derogatory comments to a Participant or to others

                                    iv.         Yelling, verbally berating or using profanity

                                     v.         Assigning unreasonable duties or workload which are unfavourable to a Participant; or 

                                    vi.         Any form of cyber bullying which can include:

a.     Sending mean or threatening emails or text/instant messages

b.     Posting embarrassing photos of someone online

c.      Creating a website to make fun of others

d.     Pretending to be someone else

e.     Tricking someone into sending pictures or videos or revealing personal information

f.      Sending personal information (including pictures and videos) about someone else to a third-party

d)     Discrimination – Differential treatment of an individual based on one or more prohibited grounds which include race, citizenship, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, or disability.

e)     Harassment – A course of vexatious comment or conduct against a Participant or group, which is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. Types of behaviour that constitute Harassment include, but are not limited to:

                                        i.       Written or verbal abuse, threats, or outbursts

                                       ii.       Persistent unwelcome remarks, jokes, comments, innuendo, or taunts

                                      iii.       Racial harassment, which is racial slurs, jokes, name calling, or insulting behaviour or terminology that reinforces stereotypes or discounts abilities because of racial or ethnic origin

                                      iv.       Leering or other suggestive or obscene gestures

                                       v.       Condescending or patronizing behaviour, which is intended to undermine self-esteem, diminish performance, or adversely affect working conditions

                                      vi.       Practical jokes which endanger a person’s safety, or may negatively affect performance

                                    vii.       Hazing – which is any form of conduct which exhibits any potentially humiliating, degrading, abusive, or dangerous activity expected of a junior-ranking individual by a more senior individual, which does not contribute to either individual’s positive development, but is required to be accepted as part of a team or group, regardless of the junior-ranking individual’s willingness to participate. This includes, but is not limited to, any activity, no matter how traditional or seemingly benign, that sets apart or alienates any teammate or group member based on class, number of years on the team or with the group, or ability

                                   viii.       Unwanted physical contact including, but not limited to, touching, petting, pinching, or kissing

                                      ix.       Deliberately excluding or socially isolating a person from a group or team

                                       x.       Persistent sexual flirtations, advances, requests, or invitations

                                      xi.       Physical or sexual assault

                                 xii.       Contributing to a poisoned sport environment, which can include:

a.     Locations where material that is discriminatory is displayed (e.g., sexually explicit posters and racial/racist cartoons)

b.     Groups where harassing behaviour is part of the normal course of activities

c.      Behaviour that causes embarrassment, awkwardness, endangers a person’s safety or negatively affects performance.

                                   xiii.       Behaviours such as those described above that are not directed towards a specific person or group but have the same effect of creating a negative or hostile environment; and

                                   xiv.       Retaliation or threats of retaliation against a person who reports harassment to the Organization.

f)      Minor – Any Participant who is under the age of 19 years old at the time and in the jurisdiction where the alleged maltreatment has occurred. Adults are responsible for knowing the age of a Minor.

g)     Participants – Refers to all categories of individual members and/or registrants defined in the By-laws of the Organization who are subject to the policies of the Organization, as well as all people employed by, contracted by, or engaged in activities with, the Organization including, but not limited to, employees, contractors, athletes, coaches, instructors, officials, volunteers, managers, administrators, parents or guardians, spectators, committee members, and Directors and Officers.

h)     Person in Authority – Any Participant who holds a position of authority within the Organization including, but not limited to, coaches, instructors, officials, managers, support personnel, chaperones, committee members, and Directors and Officers.

i)      Workplace – Any place where business or work-related activities are conducted. Workplaces include but are not limited to, the registered office(s), work-related social functions, work assignments outside the registered office(s), work-related travel, the training and competition environment, and work-related conferences or training sessions.

j)      Workplace Harassment – Vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a Workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. Workplace Harassment should not be confused with legitimate, reasonable management actions that are part of the normal work/training function, including measures to correct performance deficiencies, such as placing someone on a performance improvement plan, or imposing discipline for workplace infractions. Types of behaviour that constitute Workplace Harassment include, but are not limited to:

                                  i.         Bullying,

                                ii.         Workplace pranks, vandalism, bullying or hazing,

                               iii.         Repeated offensive or intimidating phone calls or emails,

                               iv.         Inappropriate sexual touching, advances, suggestions or requests,

                                v.         Displaying or circulating offensive pictures, photographs or materials in printed or electronic form,

                               vi.         Psychological abuse,

                              vii.         Excluding or ignoring someone, including persistent exclusion of a person from work-related social gatherings,

                             viii.         Deliberately withholding information that would enable a person to do their job, perform or train,

                               ix.         Sabotaging someone else’s work or performance,

                                x.         Gossiping or spreading malicious rumours,

                               xi.         Intimidating words or conduct (offensive jokes or innuendos); and

                              xii.         Words or actions which are known, or ought reasonably to be known, as offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, or demeaning.

k)     Workplace Violence – The use of or threat of physical force by a person against a worker in a Workplace that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker; an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker in a Workplace that could cause physical injury to the worker; or a statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker in a Workplace that could cause physical injury to the worker. Types of behaviour that constitute Workplace Violence include, but are not limited to:

                                  i.         Verbal or written threats to attack

                                ii.         Sending to or leaving threatening notes or emails

                               iii.         Physically threatening behaviour such as shaking a fist at someone, finger pointing, destroying property, or throwing objects

                               iv.         Wielding a weapon in a Workplace

                                v.         Hitting, pinching or unwanted touching, which is not accidental

                               vi.         Dangerous or threatening horseplay

                              vii.         Physical restraint or confinement

                             viii.         Blatant or intentional disregard for the safety or wellbeing of others

                               ix.         Blocking normal movement or physical interference, with or without the use of equipment

                                x.         Sexual assault; and

                               xi.         Any attempt to engage in the type of conduct outlined above.

l)      Vulnerable Participants – Includes Minors and vulnerable adults (people who, because of age, disability, or other circumstance, are in a position of dependence on others or are otherwise at a greater risk than the general population of being harmed by Persons in Authority).


2.     The purpose of this Code is to ensure a safe and positive environment within the programs, activities, and events of the Organization by making Participants aware that there is an expectation, at all times, of appropriate behaviour. The Organization prohibits discriminatory practices and is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals can safely participate in sport and are treated with respect and fairness. 


Application of this Code

3.     This Code applies to any Participant’s conduct during the business, activities, and events of the Organization including, but not limited to competitions, training sessions, evaluations, treatment, or consultations (i.e., massage therapy, physiotherapy), training camps, travel associated with organizational activities, the office environment, and any meetings.

4.     This Code also applies to Participants’ conduct outside of the business, activities, and events of the Organization when such conduct adversely affects the Organization’s relationships (and the work and sport environment) or is detrimental to the image and reputation of the Organization (e.g., school). Such applicability will be determined by the Organization at its sole discretion. 

5.     This Code applies to Participants active in the sport or who have retired from the sport where any claim regarding a potential breach of this Code occurred when the Participant was active in the sport

6.     In addition, breaches of this Code may occur when the Participants involved interacted due to their mutual involvement in the sport (e.g., fundraising activities, school) or, if the breach occurred outside of the sport environment, if the breach has a serious and detrimental impact on the Participant(s). 

7.     Any Participant who violates this Code may be subject to sanctions pursuant to the Discipline and Complaints Policy. In addition to facing possible sanctions pursuant to the Discipline and Complaints Policy, a Participant who violates this Code during a competition may be removed from the competition or training area, and the Participant may be subject to further sanctions or disciplinary action.


8.     All Participants have a responsibility to:

a)     Refrain from any behaviour that constitutes Discrimination, Abuse, Harassment, Workplace Harassment, or Workplace Violence.

b)     Maintain and enhance the dignity and self-esteem of other Participants by:

i.       Treating each other with the highest standards of respect and integrity

ii.     Demonstrating respect to individuals regardless of body type, physical characteristics, athletic ability, age, ancestry, colour, race, citizenship, ethnic origin, place of origin, creed, disability, family status, marital status, gender identity, gender expression, sex, and sexual orientation

iii.    Focusing comments or criticism appropriately and avoiding public criticism of Athletes, coaches, officials, organizers, volunteers, employees, or other Participants

iv.    Consistently demonstrating the spirit of sportsmanship, sport leadership, and ethical conduct

v.     Acting, when appropriate, to correct or prevent practices that are unjustly discriminatory

vi.    Consistently treating individuals fairly and reasonably; and

vii.   Ensuring adherence to the rules of the sport and the spirit of those rules.

c)     Refrain from the use of power or authority in an attempt to coerce another person to engage in inappropriate activities.

d)     Maintain and enhance the dignity and self-esteem of other Participants by:

i.       Treating each other with fairness, honesty, respect, and integrity

ii.     Focusing comments or criticism appropriately and avoiding public criticism of Athletes, coaches, officials, organizers, volunteers, employees, or other Participants

iii.    Consistently demonstrating the spirit of sportsmanship, sport leadership, and ethical conduct; and

iv.    Ensuring adherence to the rules of the sport and the spirit of those rules.

e)     Refrain from any behaviour that constitutes harassment, where harassment is defined as comment or conduct directed towards an individual or group.

f)      Abstain from the non-medical use of medications or drugs or the use of Prohibited Substances or Prohibited Methods as listed on the version of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List currently in force. More specifically, the Organization adopts and adheres to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. The Organization will respect any sanction imposed on a Participant as a result of a breach of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program or any other applicable Anti-Doping Rules.

g)     Refrain from coaching, training, instructing, administrating, managing, or being involved in the athletic development of any person who has been found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation and is serving a period of ineligibility imposed pursuant to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program or any other applicable Anti-Doping Rules.

h)     Reasonably cooperate with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) or another anti-doping organization that is investigating anti-doping rule violations.

i)      Not harass, intimidate, or otherwise conduct themselves offensively towards a doping control official or other individual involved in doping control.

j)      Refrain from the use of power or authority in an attempt to coerce another person to engage in inappropriate activities.

k)     Refrain from consuming tobacco products, cannabis, or recreational drugs while participating in the programs, activities, competitions, or events of the Organization.

l)      In the case of Minors, not consume alcohol, tobacco, or cannabis at any competition or event.

m)   In the case of adults, not consume cannabis in the Workplace or in any situation associated with the events of the Organization (subject to any requirements for accommodation), not consume alcohol during training, competitions, or in situations where Minors are present, and take reasonable steps to manage the responsible consumption of alcohol in adult-oriented social situations. 

n)     When driving a vehicle:

i.       Have a valid driver’s license

ii.     Not be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs or substances

iii.    Have valid car insurance; and

iv.    Refrain from holding a mobile device. 

o)     Respect the property of others and not wilfully cause damage.

p)     Promote sport in the most constructive and positive manner possible.

q)     Refrain from engaging in deliberate cheating which is intended to manipulate the outcome of a competition and/or not offer or receive any bribe which is intended to manipulate the outcome of a competition.

r)      Adhere to all applicable federal, provincial/territorial, municipal and host country laws.

s)     Comply, at all times, with the By-laws, policies, procedures, and rules and regulations of the Organization, as applicable and as adopted and amended from time to time.

t)      Report any ongoing criminal or anti-doping investigation, conviction, or existing bail conditions involving a Participant to the Organization, including, but not limited to, those for violence, child pornography, or possession, use, or sale of any illegal or prohibited substance or method.

Directors, Committee Members, and Staff

9.     In addition to section 8 (above), Directors, Committee Members, and staff of the Organization will have additional responsibilities to:

a)     Function primarily as a Director, committee member or staff member of the Organization (as applicable) and ensure to prioritize their loyalty to Organization (and not to any other organization or group) while acting in this role. 

b)     Ensure that financial affairs are conducted in a responsible and transparent manner with due regard for all fiduciary responsibilities.

c)     Comply with the Swim BC Screening and CRC Policy.

d)     Conduct themselves openly, professionally, lawfully and in good faith. 

e)     Be independent and impartial and not be influenced by self-interest, outside pressure, expectation of reward, or fear of criticism.

f)      Exercise the degree of care, diligence, and skill required in the performance of their duties pursuant to applicable laws. 

g)     Maintain confidentiality of private organizational information.

h)     When acting as a Director or Committee Member, respect the decisions of the majority (the Board or a Committee, as applicable) and resign if unable to do so.

i)      Commit the time to attend meetings and be diligent in preparation for, and participation in, discussions at such meetings.

j)      Have a thorough knowledge and understanding of all governance documents.


Coaches, Instructors, Trainers, and Athlete Support Personnel

10.  In addition to section 8 (above), coaches, instructors, trainers, and athlete support personnel have many additional responsibilities. The coach-athlete relationship is a privileged one and plays a critical role in the personal, sport, and athletic development of the Athlete. Coaches must understand and respect the inherent power imbalance that exists in this relationship and must be extremely careful not to abuse it, either consciously or unconsciously. Coaches, instructors, trainers, and athlete support personnel will:

a)     Avoid any behaviour that abuses the power imbalance inherent in the coaching position to: 

i.  establish or maintain a sexual relationship with an Athlete that they are coaching, or 

ii.  encourage inappropriate physical or emotional intimacy with an Athlete, regardless of the Athlete’s age.

b)     Ensure a safe environment by selecting activities and establishing controls that are suitable for the age, experience, ability, and fitness level of the Athletes.

c)     Prepare Athletes systematically and progressively, using appropriate time frames and monitoring physical and psychological adjustments while refraining from using training methods or techniques that may harm Athletes.

d)     Avoid compromising the present and future health of Athletes by communicating and cooperating with sport medicine professionals in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of Athletes’ medical and psychological treatments.

e)     Support the coaching staff of a training camp, provincial team, or national team, should an Athlete qualify for participation with one of these programs.

f)      Accept and promote Athletes’ personal goals and refer Athletes to other coaches and sport specialists as appropriate.

g)     Provide Athletes (and the parents/guardians of Minor Athletes) with the information necessary to be involved in the decisions that affect the Athlete.

h)     Act in the best interest of the Athlete’s development as a whole person.

i)      Comply with the Swim BC Screening and CRC Policy.

j)      Report any ongoing criminal or anti-doping investigation, conviction, or existing bail conditions to the Organization, including those for violence, child pornography, or possession, use, or sale of any illegal or prohibited substance or method.

k)     Not coach, train, or otherwise support athletes if they use methods or substances prohibited by the Canadian Anti-Doping Program without valid and acceptable justification.

l)      Under no circumstances provide, promote, or condone the use of drugs (other than properly prescribed medications) or prohibited substances or prohibited methods and, in the case of Minors, alcohol, cannabis, and/or tobacco.

m)   Respect Athletes competing for other jurisdictions and, in dealings with them, not encroach upon topics or actions which are deemed to be within the realm of 'coaching', unless after first receiving approval from the coaches who are responsible for the Athletes.

n)     Not engage in a sexual or intimate relationship with an Athlete of any age in which the coach is in a position of trust or authority.

o)     Disclose to the Organization any sexual or intimate relationship with an athlete over the age of majority and, if requested by the Organization, immediately discontinue any coaching involvement with that athlete.

p)     Recognize the power inherent in the position of coach and respect and promote the rights of all participants in sport. This is accomplished by establishing and following procedures for confidentiality (right to privacy), informed participation, and fair and reasonable treatment. Coaches have a special responsibility to respect and promote the rights of participants who are in a vulnerable or dependent position and less able to protect their own rights

q)     Dress professionally and use appropriate language.


11.  In addition to section 8 (above), Athletes will have additional responsibilities to:

a)     Report any medical problems in a timely fashion, when such problems may limit their ability to travel, train, or compete. 

b)     Participate and appear on-time and prepared to participate to their best abilities in all competitions, training sessions, and evaluations.

c)     Properly represent themselves and not attempt to participate in a competition for which they are not eligible by reason of age, classification, or other reason.

d)     Adhere to any rules and requirements regarding clothing and equipment.

e)     Dress to represent the sport and themselves with professionalism.

f)      Act in accordance with applicable policies and procedures and, when applicable, additional rules as outlined by coaches or managers.



12.  In addition to section 8 (above), officials will have additional responsibilities to:

a)     Maintain and update their knowledge of the rules and rule changes.

b)     Not publicly criticize other officials.

c)     Work within the boundaries of their position’s description while supporting the work of other officials.

d)     Act as an ambassador of the sport by agreeing to enforce and abide by national and provincial rules and regulations.

e)     Take ownership of actions and decisions made while officiating.

f)      Respect the rights, dignity, and worth of all Participants.

g)     Act openly, impartially, professionally, lawfully, and in good faith.

h)     Be fair, equitable, considerate, independent, honest, and impartial in all dealings with others.

i)      Respect the confidentiality required by issues of a sensitive nature, which may include discipline processes, appeals, and specific information or data about Participants.

j)      Comply with the Swim BC Screening and CRC Policy.

k)     Honour all assignments unless unable to do so by virtue of illness or personal emergency, and in these cases inform a supervisor or the Organization at the earliest possible time.

l)      When writing reports, set out the actual facts to the best of their knowledge and recollection.

m)   Dress in proper attire for officiating.      


Parents/Guardians and Spectators

13.  In addition to section 8 (above), parents/guardians and spectators at events will:

a)     Encourage athletes to compete within the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence.

b)     Condemn the use of violence in any form. 

c)     Never ridicule a participant for making a mistake during a competition or training session.

d)     Respect the decisions and judgments of officials and encourage athletes to do the same.

e)     Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse, coercion, intimidation, and sarcasm.

f)      Respect and show appreciation to all competitors, and to coaches, officials, and other volunteers. 

g)     Never harass competitors, coaches, officials, parents/guardians, or other spectators.


14.  Clubs must:

a)     Adhere to all of the Swim BC’s governing documents and, where necessary, amend their own rules to comply or align with those of Swim BC.

b)     Pay all required dues and fees by the prescribed deadlines.

c)     Recognize that their websites, blogs, and social media accounts may be seen as extensions of Swim BC and must reflect Swim BC’s mission, vision, and values.

d)     Ensure that all athletes and coaches participating in sanctioned competitions and events of Swim BC are registered and in good standing.

e)     Appropriately screen prospective employees to help ensure athletes have a healthy and safe sport environment.

f)      Ensure that any possible or actual misconduct is investigated promptly and thoroughly.

g)     Impose appropriate disciplinary or corrective measures when misconduct has been substantiated.

h)     Advise Swim BC immediately of any situation where a complainant has publicized a complaint in the media (including social media).

i)      Provide Swim BC with a copy of all decisions rendered pursuant to the organization’s policies for complaints and appeals.