Swansea University academic providing research support to help keep children safe in sport

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Dr Camilla Knight, a Senior Lecturer in Sport Science at Swansea University is the lead of a new group – the Welsh Research and Evidence Advisory Group created in conjunction with the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU).

Dr Camilla KnightCPSU is a partnership between the NSPCC, Sport England, Sport Northern Ireland and Sport Wales and aims to help young people play sport and stay safe. The Unit was founded in 2001 to work with UK Sports Councils, National Governing Bodies (NGBs), County Sports Partnerships (CSPs) and other organisations to help them minimise the risk of child abuse during sporting activities.

The new Welsh Research and Evidence Advisory Group will work alongside the English research and evidence group while also providing the opportunity for academics working within Welsh institutions to address the concerns of Welsh Sporting Bodies. 

Dr Knight (pictured), whose main focus is understanding and enhancing the psychosocial experiences of children in sport, said: “My research has revealed that there is a clear need for a better understanding of the dynamics between children in sport and those in a supporting/supervisory role.

“It was felt that specific research and evaluation within and across Wales would be beneficial to enhance the CPSU’s work in Wales.  This led to me linking with CPSU to develop the Welsh Research and Evidence Advisory Group.”

Anne Tiivas, Director of CPSU said: “Developing a dynamic research and evidence base has been fundamental to all of our work to safeguard children in and through sport since the creation of the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit in 2001.

“We are delighted to be working with Swansea University to create the Wales Research and Evidence Advisory Group. This will support the aspirations of the multi-agency strategic group in Wales to ensure that every child in Wales has access to sport which is safe and enjoyable.

“We hope that researchers and sports bodies will be able to work more closely together. This will help us to understand the current nature of the challenges that children and young people face in sport and the pressures on their wellbeing; and to find effective and practical solutions for sport staff, volunteers, parents and young people. We are very appreciative of Dr Camilla Knight’s energy and leadership in this new initiative.”

 Dr Knight said: “I am extremely excited about this opportunity to conduct, develop and utilise research to help ensure all children can have a positive and enjoyable time when they are involved in sport.”