Sport and those who run it have an important duty to ensure the safety and wellbeing of young participants. This text presents the findings of a unique research project into the experiences of a wide range of stakeholders in contemporary youth soccer, exploring crucial issues of child protection, social policy, and the culture and governance of sport. It covers:
- The youth soccer context — twenty-first century family life, the sports policy background, and the organisation, governance and culture of the English game
- Research findings — the experiences of children and young people, parents and carers, coaches, teachers, referees, Child Protection Officers, Football Development Officers, and those involved in women’s, disability and professional soccer
- Issues in social policy research — methodological, ethical and management challenges
- Conclusions and implications — the benefits and limitations of different approaches to the protection of children and young people in sport.
For researchers, professionals and decision-makers, this text provides important new insight into the impact of child protection policies, and into the potential for evidence-based practice in youth sport.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part 1: Context 1. Families and football in the twenty first century 2. Child protection and the sports policy agenda 3. Youth football 4. Researching the football family Part 2: Findings 5. Children and young people 6. Parents and carers 7. Referees 8. The Professional Game 9. Coaches 10. School teachers 11. Disability football and vulnerable people 12. The women’s game 13. Scouts Part 3: Reflections 14. Reflections on managing the research process 15. Conclusions: dream makers or dream breakers? Appendices 1a. Sample survey 2002: parents/carers and guardians 1b. Sample survey 2003: coaches, managers and teachers 2. Sample interview/focus group schedule 2002 3. Consultation methods for children 4. Ethics protocol 5. Media protocol 6. Bracketing interview schedule 2002