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Title: “… so what?” Attitudes of the voluntary sector towards child protection in sports clubs
Authors: Brackenridge, CH
Keywords: Child abuse;Child protection;Voluntary;Sport club
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Brackenridge, C.H. (2002) '“… so what?” Attitudes of the voluntary sector towards child protection in sports clubs', Managing Leisure – An International Journal, 7(2), pp. 103-124. doi:10.1080/13606710210139857.
Abstract: There is both growing concern about ethical standards in sport and also rapid expansion in the number of local and national schemes designed to encourage youth sports development. Child abuse in youth sport has become a ‘moral panic’ in British society but there is evidence of a child protection policy vacuum between national and club level. Sport club child protection schemes are rarely informed by the work of their respective national governing bodies but there is an almost complete absence of empirical data with which to support or challenge claims about child safety in voluntary sector sports clubs. The research reported addresses this knowledge gap. It was designed to explore the extent to which one English midlands county had made provision for child protection and to assess the main issues confronting the county in its efforts to enhance child protection in voluntary sport. Voluntary sector junior sports clubs (N = 396) were sent a postal survey; 129 responded. 19 junior sports focus groups and selected county officers and staff were invited to participate in group or individual interviews during the second half of 1999 (prior to the establishment of the NSPCC/Sport England Child Protection in Sport Unit). This paper reports the survey and interview data from the voluntary clubs. Results show an extremely varied pattern of awareness of the main child protection issues in the various sports clubs. One common theme emerged, however: there was a clear misapprehension that children are safest amongst those whom they know best and most at risk from those currently outside their sports clubs. This view is firmly contradicted by research statistics on sources of child abuse. The paper argues that the unwillingness of club personnel to challenge their own assumptions is causally linked to a culture of complacency about child protection in voluntary sport.
ISSN: 1360-6719
Appears in Collections:Sport
Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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