1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Athlete Welfare

Edited By Melanie Lang Copyright 2021
    438 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    438 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Athlete welfare should be of central importance in all sport. This comprehensive volume features cutting-edge research from around the world on issues that can compromise the welfare of athletes at all levels of sport and on the approaches taken by sports organisations to prevent and manage these.

    In recent years, sports organisations have increased their efforts to ensure athlete health, safety, and well-being, often prompted by high-profile disclosures of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse; bullying; discrimination; disordered eating; addiction; and mental health issues. In this book, contributors lift the lid on these and other issues that jeopardise the physical, emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual welfare of athletes of all ages to raise awareness of the broad range of challenges athletes face. Chapters also highlight approaches to athlete welfare and initiatives taken by national and international sport organisations to provide a safer, more ethical sports environment.

    As the first book to focus exclusively on athlete welfare, this is an essential read for students and researchers in sports studies, coaching, psychology, performance, development and management, and physical education. It is also a useful reference point for anyone working in welfare, safeguarding, child protection, and equity and inclusion in and beyond sport.


    Melanie Lang

    Part I: Conceptualisations of Athlete Welfare

    1 Developments in International Policy on Athlete Welfare

    Melanie Lang

    2 Scientism and the Welfare of Athletes: Minds, Brains, Genes and Agency

    Leon Culbertson

    3 Organisational Obligations Toward Athlete Transitions: Confronting the bureaucratisation of Athlete Welfare with an Ethics of Care

    G. Z. Kohe and L. G. Purdy

    4 Athlete Shaming and the Ethics of Care: Opposing Forces in Sport Coaching

    Emily McCullogh and Parissa Safai

    Part II: Current Concerns in the Welfare of Athletes

    5 Gendered Violence in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics: A Sociological Analysis

    Natalie Barker-Ruchti, Astrid Schubring and Carly Stewart

    6 Psychological Abuse in Competitive and High-Performance Women’s Volleyball

    Alixandra Krahn

    7 Presenteeism in Elite Sport Organisations: A Framework for Understanding Athletes’ Decisions to Practice Sport Despite Health Concerns

    Jochen Mayer, Felix Kühnle and Ansgar Thiel

    8 The Issue of Athlete Welfare and Why Tackling Should be Removed from Physical Education and School Sport: #BanTackling

    Adam J. White

    9 Welfare and the Protection of Young Athletes: An Analysis of the Nature and Prevalence of Bullying Behaviours in Sport Settings

    Miguel Nery, Carlos Neto, António Rosado and Peter K. Smith

    10 Degrading and Harming New Teammates During Hazing: ‘Athletes will be Athletes’

    Jennifer J. Waldron

    11 Exploring the Links Between Self-directed Violence and Child Maltreatment and Bullying in Sport

    Sylvie Parent, Judith Kotiuga, Tine Vertommen and Kristine Fortier

    Part III: Athlete Mental Health

    12 Mental Health in Sport

    Brad Donohue and Davy Phrathep

    13 Suicide Among Athletes

    Ashwin L. Rao

    14 The Athlete and Addiction

    Carwyn Jones

    15 Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating in Sport: The Hidden Role of Sporting Organisations and How the Cycle Can be Broken

    Jenny McMahon

    Part IV: Equity and Inclusion as an Athlete Welfare Concern

    16 The Welfare of Disabled People in Sport

    Hayley Fitzgerald

    17 Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Racist Ruptures in US Youth Soccer

    Alex Manning

    18 Locked Out: Examining Binary-gendered Locker Rooms as a Key Site for Trans Athlete Welfare

    Ali Greey

    Part V: New Agendas and Missing Voices

    19 Virtual Technologies as Tools of Maltreatment: Safeguarding in Digital Spaces

    Emma Kavanagh, Chelsea Litchfield and Jaquelyn Osborne

    20 The Welfare of Adolescent High-performance Action Sport Athletes: The Case of Young Commercially Sponsored Dutch Kite Surfers

    Froukje Smits

    21 Examinations of Sports Workers’ Welfare in Spaces of Geopolitical Conflict: ‘The Country is Under Threat, but the Game Goes On’

    L. G. Purdy, G. Z. Kohe and R. Paulauskas

    22 Pasifika Rugby Migration and Athlete Welfare: Stairway to Heaven

    David Lakisa, Jack Sugden and Brent McDonald

    23 Countering the Trajectories Towards New Forms of Violence in Youth: Enhancing Protective Factors Through Sports

    Dean M. Ravizza

    24 Sexual Abuse ‘Survivor’ Research in Sport

    Colin Harris and Mike Hartill

    25 Factors Influencing the Mental Health of Sports Match Officials: The Potential Impact of Abuse and a Destabilised Support System from a Global Context

    Tom Webb and Paul Gorczynski

    Part VI: Stakeholders in Athlete Welfare

    26 The Role of Parents in Promoting the Welfare of Children Involved in Sport

    Camilla J. Knight, Olivier Y. Rouquette and Maita G. Furusa

    27 Consent and Complicity: The Athletes’ Role in the Normalisation of Damaging Coaching Practices

    Chris Zehntner

    28 Athlete Welfare in Coach-athlete Romantic Relationships

    Susanne Johansson

    29 Moving Beyond Unproblematic Policy Implementation: Some Micro-level Reflections on Social Interaction, Emotion and the Enactment of Safeguarding Policy in Sport

    Andrea Scott-Bell, Karl Wharton and Paul Potrac

    Part VII: Approaches to Prevention

    30 Protection of the Athlete: Activities of the International Olympic Committee

    Margo Mountjoy, Kirsty Burrows, and Susan Greinig

    31 Criminal Record Checks as a Tool to Prevent Child Abuse in Sport

    Melanie Lang and Maria Papaefstathiou

    32 Protecting Athletes Against Sexual Violence: A Club-based Approach from Germany

    Bettina Rulofs

    33 Measuring the Prevalence of Interpersonal Violence Against Children in Sport

    Tine Vertommen and Sylvie Parent

    34 Advancing Autonomy-supportive Coaching Through the Application of the Transtheoretical Model

    Joseph Gurgis, Gretchen Kerr and Ashley Stirling


    Melanie Lang is Assistant Director of the Centre for Child Protection and Safeguarding in Sport and a senior lecturer in child protection in sport at Edge Hill University, UK. She is co- editor of the book Safeguarding, Child Protection and Abuse in Sport: International Perspectives in Research, Policy and Practice (Routledge, 2015).