ASKO Code of Ethics


It is the policy of the Amateur Sports Karate Organization (herein referred to as ASKO), to ensure that every child or young person who takes part in any of the Association’s activities should be able to do so in a fun and safe environment and be protected from neglect, bullying and any form of physical, sexual or emotional abuse.

This document is based to a large degree on the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sports in Ireland, published by the Irish Sports Council. A full copy of this Report is available from the Board on request.

The purpose of this booklet is to set out in broad terms ASKO’s position on issues such as allegations of child abuse, bullying and codes of conduct for instructors and students.

It is our intention to update and expand this booklet on an ongoing basis and we would appreciate any suggestions as to whatever amendments you feel may be of benefit for the future.

Children Learn What They Live

If children live with criticism
They learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility
They learn to fight.

If children live with ridicule
They learn to be shy.

If children live with shame
They learn to feel guilty.

If children live with tolerance
They learn to be patient.

If children live with encouragement
They learn confidence.

If children live with praise
They learn to appreciate.

If children live with fairness
They learn justice.

If children live with security
They learn faith.

If children live with approval
They learn to like themselves.

If children live with acceptance and friendship
They learn to find love in the world.

Child Protection Policy

ASKO is fully committed to safeguarding the well being of all its Members, particularly children. Every Member of the Association should, at all times, show respect and understanding for the rights, welfare and safety of others and should conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of the Association and the guidelines contained in the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport in Ireland.


The key principles underlying this policy are:


The term “child abuse” is used to describe ways in which children are harmed, usually by adults and often by those they know and trust.

There are four main types of child abuse. A child may suffer from more than one form of abuse at any one time in his or her life.

Child Neglect : Neglect is normally defined in terms of an omission, where a child suffers harm or impairment of development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, supervision, affection or medical care. It would also include occasions where an adult leaves a child alone without proper supervision.

Emotional Abuse : Emotional abuse is normally to be found in the ongoing relationship between an adult and a child. It occurs when a child’s need for affection, approval, consistency and security is not met. For children with disabilities it may include over-protection or conversely failure to acknowledge or understand a child’s disability.

Examples of emotional abuse include:

Physical Abuse : This occurs when parents, adults or other children deliberately inflict injuries on a child or knowingly do not act to prevent such injuries. It includes injury caused by biting, shaking, squeezing, burning, hitting, or use of excessive force or giving children alcohol, drugs or poisons. Physical abuse may also be deemed to occur if the nature or intensity of a training session disregards the ability of a child, the capacity of the child’s immature and growing body or puts the child in danger of injury as a result of fatigue or overuse.

Sexual Abuse : Sexual abuse occurs when a child is used by another person for his or her sexual gratification or arousal, or for that of others. This form of abuse can range from inappropriate suggestions to sexual intercourse. It includes intentional touching or molesting. Encouraging children to look at pornographic material or to behave in sexually inappropriate ways also constitutes sexual abuse.

Identifying Abuse

Dealing with child abuse is rarely straightforward. In some cases a child’s disturbed behaviour or an injury may suggest that a child has been abused. In many situations however, the signs will not be clear-cut and decisions as to what action to take can also be difficult.

The following indicators of abuse should be noted. The presence of one or more indicators is not proof that abuse is actually taking place. The list is not exhaustive.

Behavioural Indicators

Physical Indicators


Code for Instructors and Coaches

Code for Students

Coaching Young People

Coaching young children involves presenting them with simple activities that they can cope with as they mature and develop.

Research with young children involved in sport shows that their main needs are:

Note that children rarely mention winning competitions or medals as a reason for their involvement in sport.

Your method of conducting training session will depend on several factors such as numbers, range of ability, ages, venues and equipment. However the following general points should be kept in mind;

Discipline Problems

The following list is by no means an answer to every problem that you will encounter when dealing with underage students. It does, however cover a range of the most successful, tried and tested means used by experienced coaches to reduce and eliminate discipline problems.

A disruptive student may still cause problems, no matter what is tried. Very often he or she will be one of the better students. If their behaviour is affecting others and undermining your authority the answer is simple…get rid of them until they change their ways.

Keep your distance as an instructor and coach. Never be drawn into being "one of the lads". Young students will take advantage and you will loose authority.

Good students need to be challenged and given the opportunity to improve.

Do not be afraid to take tough decisions. Tackle problems early on; don’t allow them fester.

Some Ways to Protect Yourself

To try to prevent the possibility of a wrongful allegation being made against any instructors or coach and to ensure that all forms of abuse are avoided, the following guidelines should be adhered to wherever possible.

Article compiled and written by Ciara Reid

All information on this ASKO website is ©2000-2004 Blackrock Karate Club.
Last updated on Friday, August 13th, 2004.