TO: All Club Members, Parents/Guardians, Coaches
Many of us use WhatsApp extensively to interact with friends, family and fellow hockey club members. WhatsApp is popular, powerful and easy to use.
But WhatsApp presents some serious safeguarding and privacy risks in a sports club and we, like other clubs, must change to protect members and the club.
The first phase of the changes will start on Monday 19th Feb when:
- Men’s and Ladies captains will remove any remaining U18s from all team WhatsApp groups
- the Men’s section will switch team chat from WhatsApp to TeamoChat
- the Ladies section will continue to use WhatsApp while we learn from the Men’s section experience.
We appreciate that this change will likely cause short term problems - but we ask you for your support to work through them to find solutions and/or ask for help.
If you have any questions or concerns, please let Bobby, Caz, Jim or Jen M-E know.
Why change? Because WhatsApp has risks:
- safeguarding: cyberbullying, grooming, inappropriate content - for both juniors and adults
- privacy: mobile numbers, personal information and photos uncontrolled and publicly accessible
- inclusion: hard to maintain squads in WhatsApp and include all parents and juniors
- club: could be held liable for the consequences yet cannot protect members in WhatsApp.
What’s changing? We’re introducing a new WHC Social Media Policy based on the following principles:
- Teamo is the club’s official communication platform
- Teamo is designed to address the Safeguarding, Privacy and Inclusion risks
- Teamo Chat replaces WhatsApp for all club related communications - including team and match day chat for all adult teams
- responsibility on all of us to use appropriate language and content in Chats
- club members may continue personal use of WhatsApp at their own risk - club takes no responsibility
- we will remove all under 18s from hockey team WhatsApp chats.
What happens next? We’ll use a phased approach:
- First, captains will remove U18s from all men’s and ladies team WhatsApp chats
- Phase 1 (starting 19th Feb): Men’s teams will switch from WhatsApp to Teamo Chat for all club/match chat
- Phase 2 (date tbc): Ladies teams will switch later in the season, as we learn from the Men’s section experience.
- (There are no changes planned yet to WhatsApp groups in the Juniors section as they don’t contain U18s.)
How you can help?
- familiarise yourself with Teamo Chat in the app and in the Teamo Help Centre
- persevere with the changeover to Teamo Chat, even when things get tricky
- be a role model for the new way to chat, and question those who don’t!
Want to know more?
- open the attachment on the website here to find out more about why we must change and how Teamo Chat works
- if you have any concerns, questions or suggestions, please get in touch.
This will require us all to do things differently and creating new habits can be hard. Thank you in advance for your support!
The attachment below gives more explanation of the risks, the changes and also how to use Teamo Chat