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Children and Organised Sport

Anne Stafford, Kate Alexander

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Product Details
20 Oct 2011
Dunedin Academic Press
102 pages - 216 x 138mm
Protecting Children and Young People
Much has been written and is known about the benefits to children of participating in sport. Less is known or understood about potential risks faced by children in these settings. Providing new knowledge about potential harm to children in the setting of organised sport will inform all those tasked with keeping children safe in sport, those involved with sport policy and practice and sport's governing bodies. The book draws on extensive research conducted by the authors and based on the views of more than 6,000 young people across the UK. The survey and follow-up interviews asked young people to reflect on their experiences of sport as children. It reports in detail their positive and negative experiences of sport participation in the UK, and provides information about the range of harms faced by children in these settings. These include disrespectful and bullying treatment, body image issues, issues of self esteem and self confidence, physical abuse and child sexual abuse.
Introduction; 1 Children's overall experience of sport participation in the UK; 2 Body image, self confidence and self esteem; 3 Emotional Harm and Hazing; 4 Physical abuse; 5 Sexual harassment, Grooming and Child Sexual Abuse; 6 Other forms of harm in sport; Conclusion. References. Index.
Dr Anne Stafford is Director of the University of Edinburgh/NSPCC Centre for UK-wide Learning in Child Protection (CLiCP) where Kate Alexander is Research Fellow, Child Protection in Sport.

'This is an excellent text for those with the ability to impact change at the policy level and for youth sport administrators. It could also be a supplement to a number of coaching related courses as the content can be beneficial for those working directly with child athletes. The excerpts from a number of the interviews clearly provide coaches with a child's perspective how sport may have impacted them both positively and negatively. Coaches infrequently have the opportunity to step back and look at situations from an athlete's perspective and the quotes in this book may be helpful in developing a greater understanding. While the book is quite obviously ideal for students and professionals in the UK, the content is relatable within the international sport community.' Sport Management Review

'Overall, Protecting Children and Young People: Children and Organised Sport has laid unique and insightful groundwork about expanding on understanding children’s experiences in organized sports. There has been plenty of research about children and their experiences of harm, but some of the research regarding the dangers of organized sports is quite murky. Alexander and Stafford do outstandingly address some of the questions that have been overlooked by previous research. This book reminds readers that children need to be protected in all environments. Although the children studied represent a small sample of the millions of children who participate in sports around the world, their experiences represent what is happening in organized sports everywhere. This research is a good first step in bringing awareness to the experience of so many children, whether they are on their high school basketball teams or competing for an Olympic gold medal. While there is no doubt that participating in sports can be
healthy for children, it is imperative to build awareness about the interactions between athletes and their coaches and the peer-to-peer interactions when involved in organized sports. This reality is particularly striking in light of research on adolescence that typically extols the virtues of participating in sport activities (Agans et al. 2014 ; Des- Roches and Willoughby 2014 ) and how these activities protect against a slew of negative outcomes (Dawes et al. 2014 ; Moilanen et al. 2014 ). While it can be argued that Alexander and Stafford sometimes lose sight of the positive aspects of organized sports, it is clear their intent in writing this book was to draw attention to the dangers so many youth face when participating in sports and finding ways to protect them.' Youth Adolescence

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