BASES expert statement on safeguarding in the sport and exercise sciences
Authors: Kavanagh, E., Knowles, Z., Brady, A., Rhind, D., Gervis, M., Miles, A. and Davison, R.
Start date: 28 November 2016
Journal: Journal of sports sciences
Issue: Sup 1
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Although widely promoted, individual well-being cannot be guaranteed simply through active participation in sport, exercise and physical activity. In some situations, normalised cultural practices may expose participants to threats and dangers tantamount to maltreatment (Mountjoy et al., 2016, British Journal of Sport Medicine, 0, 1–11). Maltreatment is recognised as an all-encompassing term that typically subsumes an array of abusive acts or beha- viours against the individual and includes acts of physical and/or psychological violence against the person within the context of a power differential (Stirling, 2009, British Journal of Sports Medicine, 43(14), 1091–1099). In 2011, a total of 652 maltreatment cases were recorded as occurring within national governing bodies in the UK that included physical, sexual and emotional abuse, bullying, inappropriate beha- viour via technology, and racial abuse (Rhind et al., 2014, Child Abuse Review, Online). Risk of experiencing psychologi- cal, physical and sexual violence rises as athlete’s progress through the performance pathway (Mountjoy et al., 2016). The impact of maltreatment can be long-term and dama- ging, posing a significant threat to an individual’s physical, social and psychological health. Maltreatment can occur in any environment and there is a need for safeguarding initia- tives to promote the health and well-being of participant and practitioner. Within the context of sport and exercise science, safeguarding involves a professional obligation to protect all parties (e.g., the client, athlete and/or self) from maltreatment or harm (Mountjoy et al., 2016). Safeguarding should include relational (others), individual (self) and orga- nisational (culture) considerations. Linked to this broader and multi-level view of safeguarding, BASES’ safeguarding education establishes how physical, psychological and social well-being and freedom from discrimination are integral to good practice. To ensure safeguarding is a priority in prac- tice, it is recommended that as a minimum standard for competency, sport and exercise scientists should: - Attend the BASES Safeguarding Welfare in Sport and Exercise Sciences workshop to ensure they are familiar with current legislative, organisational and professional requirements and are aware of relevant reporting and/ or referral requirements.
- Keep up-to-date on matters of safeguarding by regu- larly checking for amendments to the BASES Welfare Policy and Code of Conduct and adjusting practice accordingly.
BASES seeks to promote a culture whereby the importance of safeguarding and welfare within sport and exercise science is a priority. All practitioners share the responsibility for working in an ethical manner that prioritises safeguard- ing clients, the self and the integrity of the profession.