Safeguarding, Child Protection and Abuse in Sport: International Perspectives in Research, Policy and Practice, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Safeguarding, Child Protection and Abuse in Sport

International Perspectives in Research, Policy and Practice, 1st Edition

Edited by Melanie Lang, Mike Hartill


214 pages

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The safeguarding of children and young people participating in sport has become an increasingly prominent concern in policy-making and research communities around the world. Major organisations such as the IOC and UNICEF now officially recognize that children in sport can be at risk of exploitation and abuse, and this concern has led to the emergence of new initiatives and policies aimed at protecting vulnerable young people and athletes. This book is the first to comprehensively review contemporary developments in child protection and safeguarding in sport on a global level.

The book is divided into two parts. Part One critically analyses current child protection and safeguarding policy and practice in sport across a range of countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, China and Germany, providing a global context for current policy and practice. This represents the most comprehensive review to date of the landscape of child protection and safeguarding in sport and provides a starting point for critical international comparisons. Part Two explores a range of issues related to child protection and safeguarding in sport, including many not covered in previous books, such as emotional abuse, injury and over-training. While in many instances the impetus for policy in this area has arisen from concerns about sexual abuse, the second part of this book therefore opens up a broader, more holistic approach to child and athlete welfare.

By bringing together many of the leading researchers working in child and athlete protection in sport from around the world, this book is important reading for all advanced students, researchers, policy-makers or practitioners working in youth sport, physical education, sports coaching, coach education or child protection.


‘This is refreshing reading! In some parts of the sports movement is the new ideas already in the works. Swedish innebandys education model, SIU, is an example of that. But much remains to be done. The current anthology can be a good starting point for further discussions on how to do it.’

- Lars H Gustafsson (2015) ‘Time to leave shelters perspective of a proactive, child rights oriented approach’,

Table of Contents

Introduction: What is Safeguarding in Sport? - Melanie Lang and Mike Hartill PART 1 Chapter 1. Safeguarding and Child Protection in Sport in England - Melanie Lang and Mike Hartill Chapter 2. Safeguarding Children and Young People in Danish Sport - Jan Toftegaard-Støckel Chapter 3. Preventing Child Maltreatment and Trangressive Behaviour in Flemish Sport - Tine Vertommen, Jan Tolleneer, Guillaume Maebe and Kristine De Martelaer Chapter 4. (Sexual) Intimidation in Sport: The Netherlands - Nicolette Schipper-van Veldhoven, Tine Vertommen and Lieke Vloet Chapter 5. Child Protection in German Sport - Bettina Rulofs Chapter 6. Safeguarding and Child Protection in Sport in Two Southern European Countries: Greece and the Republic of Cyprus - Stiliani "Ani" Chroni and Maria Papaefstathiou Chapter 7. Child Protection and Welfare in Spanish Sport - Montserrat Martin Chapter 8. Safeguarding Children from Violence and Abuse in Slovenian Sport - Joca Zurc, Daniel J. A. Rhind and Melanie Lang Chapter 9. Protecting Children from Abuse and Exploitation in South African Sports - Rudolph Leon van Niekerk Chapter 10. Athlete Welfare and Protection Policy Development in the USA - Donna A. Lopiano and Connee Zotos Chapter 11. Athlete Welfare and Safeguarding in Sport in Canada - Sylvie Parent Chapter 12. Child Safety and Wellbeing in Australian Sport - Kate Russell Chapter 13. The Protection of Young Athletes in China: Policy and Practice - Fan Hong and Zhang Ling Chapter 14. Who Safeguards the Child in Japanese Sports? - Aaron L. Miller and Atsushi Nakazawa PART 2 Chapter 15. Safeguarding Athletes from Emotional Abuse - Ashley Stirling and Gretchen Kerr Chapter 16. Safeguarding the Welfare of Disabled People in Sport: Some Policy Issues and Considerations - Andy Smith Chapter 17. Physical Training as a Potential Form of Abuse - Jon L. Oliver and Rhodri S. Lloyd Chapter 18. Safeguarding, Injuries and Athlete Choice - Elizabeth C. J. Pike and Andrea Scott Chapter 19. Evaluation in Safeguarding and Child Protection in Sport - Mike Hartill and Jimmy O’Gorman Chapter 20. Conclusion - Mike Hartill and Melanie Lang

About the Editors

Melanie Lang is a sociologist and former British international youth swimmer, swimming coach and journalist who now works at Edge Hill University, UK. Her research centres on the policy and practice of safeguarding and child protection in sport and her work has featured in The Times and The Independent newspapers and on BBC Radio as well as in leading academic journals. She has sat on the Child Protection in Sport Unit Research Evidence Advisory Group since 2009 and is on the editorial board of the Irish Journal of Sociology.

Mike Hartill is a sociologist and Senior Lecturer at Edge Hill University, UK. He conducts and publishes research on child maltreatment in sport. Recent publications include a review of this field for the Directory of Sport Science (6th edn) published by the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE). He has sat on the Child Protection in Sport Unit Research Evidence Advisory Group since 2003.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Sport, Culture and Society

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SPORTS & RECREATION / Sociology of Sports