Ex­perts de­velop safety pro­pos­als

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Student Life -

TWO aca­demics from Edge Hill Univer­sity are work­ing with UK Coach­ing to de­velop pro­pos­als to en­sure the wel­fare of young ath­letes.

Dr Mike Har­till and Dr Me­lanie Lang, are work­ing with UK Coach­ing, which is lead­ing an in­dus­try-wide group to de­velop a set of pro­pos­als for safe­guard­ing and pro­tect­ing tal­ented and elite young ath­letes.

The group will seek to en­sure that wel­fare re­mains a pri­or­ity be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter in­volve­ment in tal­ent path­ways, which help promis­ing ath­letes reach an elite level.

Four key ar­eas of ad­di­tional risk to tal­ented and elite young ath­letes have been iden­ti­fied by the group: train­ing and com­pet­ing away from home; gen­eral train­ing and com­pe­ti­tion; club and train­ing cen­tre challenges; and sup­port struc­ture.

Pro­pos­als for these will be de­vel­oped in line with rec­om­men­da­tions made by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thomp­son in her in­de­pen­dent re­view of the duty of care in sport; the EU-funded Safe­guard­ing Youth Sport re­port; and other re­ports, in­clud­ing the cul­ture of sport work car­ried out by UK Sport.

The group will also en­gage with ath­letes them­selves as key stake­hold­ers in the process, and agree on the ap­pro­pri­ate way to dis­sem­i­nate rec­om­men­da­tions to the sec­tor.

Me­lanie, se­nior lec­turer in child pro­tec­tion in sport, said: “My role with UK Coach­ing in­volves help­ing iden­tify some of the key safe­guard­ing is­sues that specif­i­cally affect tal­ented and elite ath­letes – we know from re­search that this group is more at risk of var­i­ous forms of vi­o­lence and abuse, for ex­am­ple.

“I’ve also authored a re­view of lit­er­a­ture on in­ter-gen­er­a­tional touch for the group’s re­search sub-group.

“In­ter-gen­er­a­tional touch in sport is one of my own ar­eas of re­search, and the re­view iden­ti­fies the key mes­sages from re­search, sug­ges­tions on best prac­tice for prac­ti­tion­ers and high­lights what fur­ther re­search is needed to plug our knowl­edge gap.

“We’re hope­ful that these re­views of em­pir­i­cal re­search will be used to feed into coach ed­u­ca­tion cour­ses and po­si­tion pa­pers that UK Coach­ing de­liv­ers.”

“We’re pleased to be in­volved in this ini­tia­tive and hope that we will be able to con­trib­ute to im­prov­ing stan­dards for chil­dren who as­pire to the high­est lev­els of per­for­mance in sport,” added Mike, who is a reader in the so­ci­ol­ogy of sport at the univer­sity.

Dr Me­lanie Lang: help­ing to en­sure the wel­fare of young ath­letes

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