From Tuesday 28 June, sports coaches and faith leaders will be recognised in law as being in “positions of trust” and so banned from engaging in sexual activity with under 18s in their care.
This rule already covers professions such as doctors, teachers and carers. It has been extended via the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act to apply to those who train, supervise or instruct young people in the fields of sport and religion.
Sailing Instructors and Coaches who are over 18 and who train, coach, supervise or instruct someone under the age of 18 on a regular basis, and who know that they coach, teach, train, supervise or instruct someone under 18 are now included in the definition of someone “in a position of trust” for the purposes of sections 16-19 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
As such, coaches and instructors (aged over 18) may now be guilty of an offence if they engage in any of the activities set out in sections 16-19 of the Sexual Offences Act with under 18s in their care.
Over the coming weeks, the RYA will be preparing answers to some frequently asked questions and will be advising key stakeholders of the change to the law.