The following guidelines have been developed to assist sporting clubs and associations when acquiring and displaying images of children and young people on web sites and in other publications.


There have been concerns about the risks posed directly and indirectly to children and young people through the use of photographs on sports web sites and other publications. Evidence in Australia indicates that information posted on an internet site or published in a magazine or newspaper is used to target children, to locate them, and then to condition or groom them. Additionally images can be used or adapted for inappropriate use. The end result is that in spite of the best intentions on the part of the publisher, children can end up being the victims of abuse. Sporting organisations need to be aware of these potential risks and take appropriate steps to address them.

Acquiring images

  • Permission needs to be obtained from the athlete’s parent / guardian prior to taking their image. Ensure that they are aware of the way in which the image may be used.
  • Request that professional photographers and/or spectators taking photographic / video images register at an event or facility.
  • Clearly outline to professional photographers that all images taken will remain the property of the sporting organisation, and can not be used or sold for any other purpose. Clearly outline that all negatives / proofs etc need to be destroyed or given to the sporting organisation at the conclusion of the photo opportunity.
  • Clearly outline and publicise what is considered appropriate behaviour and content to those taking photographic / video images.
  • Do not allow unsupervised or individual access to athletes.
  • Do not approve photo / video sessions outside the event venue or at an athlete’s home.
  • Provide details of who to contact if concerns or complaints of inappropriate photographic behaviour or content are raised.

Displaying images

  • Consider using models or illustrations for promotional / advertising purposes.
  • Permission needs to be obtained from the athlete’s parent / guardian prior to using their image. Ensure that they are aware of the way in which the image is to be used and how long the image will be displayed when used on a website.
  • If the athlete is named, avoid using their image.
  • If an image is used, avoid naming the athlete. If this is not possible avoid using both a first name and surname.
  • Do not display personal information such as residential address, email address or telephone numbers without gaining consent from a parent / guardian first.
  • Do not display information about hobbies, likes / dislikes, school, etc as these can be used as grooming tools by paedophiles or other persons.
  • Only use appropriate images of the athlete, relevant to the sport or activity, and suitably clothed. Images of athletes in sports or activities that involve minimal clothing or unusual body positions / poses, which could potentially be misused, should focus on the activity not on a particular child and avoid full face and body shots.
  • Reduce the ability for the direct copying of pictures from a website to another source (i.e. disable the ‘right mouse click’ function)
  • Provide details of who to contact if concerns or complaints of inappropriate image use are raised.

Australian Sports Commission

Ethics in Sport - Policies, Guidelines and Forms


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