Launch of New Sport Parenting Project, supported by the EU Erasmus+ programme

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Monday 20 February marks the launch of a new sport parenting project that aims to minimize the physical and psychological risks that young athletes encounter by improving the education and support that is provided to, and available for, the parents of all children involved in sport.

Led by Swansea University, this project, which is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, will be drawing on the expertise of academics and practitioners working across Europe in the field of youth sport.

The importance of this project is underpinned by an understanding that young athletes’ opportunities to participate in sport, and subsequently gain the range of physical, psychological, and social benefits associated with participating, is largely dependent upon the support they receive from their parents.

600 x 400Unfortunately, although the important roles of parents in sport are well known, support and education for parents remains limited. If parents are provided with incorrect guidance or support, it can result in a range of detrimental physical and psychological outcomes for children. As such, ensuring parents are well-educated and informed about how best to support and guide their children in sport is critical to minimizing such physical and psychological health risks.

Given the need to provide parents with information from a range of disciplines, this project is drawing on the research and practical experience of partners from 10 organisations in the UK and Europe:

  • NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit (UK)
  • International Center for Ethics in Sport (Belgium)
  • Sport Wales
  • Sport NI
  • sportcoachUK
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Loughborough University
  • Windesheim University (Netherlands)
  • Norwegian School of Sport Science
  • University of Southern Denmark

 Dr. Camilla Knight, a Senior Lecturer specialising in parental involvement in sport at Swansea University, said:

 “It is extremely exciting to be working with such a range of experts to address this critical topic. For too long the focus has been on the negative impact of parents in sport, with limited attempts to provide parents with the tools and resources needed to best support their children in sport.

Through this project we hope to go some way towards empowering parents so that they can optimize their involvement in their children’s sporting lives.”

The project will last 18 months, culminating with a conference and launch of resources in Norway in June 2018. 

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