Guidelines for U18s Travelling Alone – UK Only

Guidance on Under 18’s travelling to competitions and events (within the UK)

Last Updated 06/02/2023

In the majority of situations Under 18’s normally travel with their parents to events and competition and we recognise this as best practice.

However, we also recognise that developing independence is an important  and necessary part of a young person’s development and travelling unescorted is part of that development. Many children travel to and from school by public transport on a daily basis and there is no reason why, as they mature, that young people should not take longer journeys on their own.

It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to decide what is appropriate and do their own risk assessment around their child’s protection.

The following guidelines are published for parents to consider:

  • Competitions pose a heightened stress situation, some young people are well able to cope with these stresses, others not so, this is not always predictable in advance.
  • As with all sport, there is a risk of injury which may require medical attention. Who are you giving medical decision making rights to?
  • Every child is different, what works for one may not work for another – even if they are siblings.
  • What checks you might wish to undertake on any adult that you select to accompany your child.
  • What are your contingency plans if competitions finish late or transport problems occur.


Additional Recommendations

  • Under the age of 14, children should always have a parent or nominated adult present
  • Under the age of 16, children should not be taking complex, unfamiliar journeys unescorted – ie several changes, or changes in transport types.
  • The competition organiser should be made aware (by the parent/guardian) if an unescorted child under the age of 16 is travelling to their competition. This is so that they can ensure that the correct protocols can be put in place in relation to arrival /departure and medical treatment permissions. The competition organiser has the right to refuse entry to the competition to unaccompanied children under the age of 16, as they may not be able to provide the appropriate welfare capacity.


All fencing competitions are required to have a Welfare Officer present, whose name and contact details should be provided by the Competition Organiser (if they are not already published as part of the online competition entry information)

Note to competition organisers – we recommend adding the following sentence to your competition entry forms, published online information and any joining instructions ‘If your child is under the age of 16 on the day of the competition and travelling unaccompanied, please contact <insert name and contact details of welfare officer here>





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