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New film urges Swim England members to keep phones in their locker

An empowering new film has been commissioned by Swim England in a bid to prevent its teenage members falling foul of a key safeguarding policy change.

‘Keep it in Your Locker’ aims to raise awareness of a recently-introduced element in Wavepower which prohibits the use of a mobile phone or device in changing rooms during Swim England regulated activity.

It was brought in at the beginning of 2024 as part of a revised version of Swim England’s safeguarding policy and procedures document to help protect members from instances of inappropriate photos or video footage being taken.

The 60-second video premiered on Swim England’s TikTok and Instagram channels and features six youngsters, with two of them seen to be recording their friends.

It includes the key messages of changing rooms are changing, you wouldn’t like it if it was you and leave the fun for the pool – as the film’s stars are all seen putting their phones in their lockers to avoid breaching Wavepower.

The video was created following an extensive consultation with Swim England members aged under 18, parents and coaches plus members of the national governing body’s Youth Advisory Panel.

This was carried out by Rebecca Roberts, founder of Thread & Fable, which specialises in youth communications.

During the consultation, members gave their views on the change to Wavepower, what barriers they saw for abiding by it and some of the themes and opportunities they saw for tackling the problem.

Rebecca said: “Youth members have played a crucial part in developing a campaign that reflects their experience of having a phone with them at training and events and what messages resonated with them most in order to keep changing areas a safe space for everyone.

“By understanding how they felt about the change, as well as reflecting their voice within the campaign, ‘Keep it in Your Locker’ aims to be a light reminder about saving the fun for the pool and respecting the rule update for each other as well as for themselves.”

Clubs have been provided with resources by Swim England in a bid to help spread the word with teenage members.

Important messaging

This includes the film itself, posters to remind members when entering changing areas, plus suggested social posts and wording for newsletters

Kevin Suckling, Swim England’s head of safeguarding, said: “The change to Wavepower preventing the use of a mobile phone or device in changing rooms was introduced to help protect our members.

“There have been too many instances in the past relating to inappropriate photos and video footage being taken in changing rooms.

“These types of incidents can be traumatic and harrowing for victims of what can be a criminal act and our goal is to ensure they don’t happen in the future.

“The vast majority of our members are under 18 and we felt it was right they were made aware of the Wavepower changes.

“However, we were keen to make it engaging and wanted them to be involved in the process from the outset.

“We hope our younger members will take on board the important messaging that is evident throughout Keep it in Your Locker – and share it with their friends as well.

“It’s an empowering film which can play a key part in ensuring everyone can feel safe and protected when getting ready for club training or competitions.”