• 105 Citations
  • 4 h-Index
If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


Melanie is Assistant Director of the Centre for Safeguarding and Child Protection in Sport (CPSS) at Edge Hill Univeristy and Senior Lecturer in Child Protection in Sport. Her research and teaching work focuses on safeguarding and child protection issues, gender-based violence, and chidlren's rights in sport. 

She is the UK country lead and a member of the steering committee for the 2019-2021 Erasmus+ funded project ‘Child Abuse in Sport: European Statistics' (CASES) - the first project to estimate the prevalence of child abuse in sport across six EU countries. She served as UK national lead and steering committee member on the 2016-2017 European Commission-funded project 'Gender-Based Violence in Sport'.

Melanie is an expert research member of the Pool of European Experts on Sexual Violence in Sport (part of the Council of Europe and European Union Pro Safe Sport+ project), and a member of the NSPCC Sport England Child Protection in Sport Unit Research Evidence and Advisory Group, and the UK Coaching Safeguarding Talented and Elite Children Expert Group. She is also an invited expert member of the Research Chair in Security and Integrity in Sport at Laval University, Quebec, Canada. 

Melanie works with national sports and coaching organisations, charities and sport and safeguarding groups and has delivered training and continuing professional development workshops to sport policymakers, coaches, athletes and charitable organisations from the UK, China, Japan and Ghana. Her work has been supported by the European Commission Education, Audio-visual and Culture Executive Agency, the Sport England/ NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit, the Japanese government, Sport England, and the NWG Network. 

As well as scientific publications in world-leading journals, Melanie is editor of three books: ‘The Routledge Handbook of Athlete Welfare’ (Routledge, 2020), ‘Safeguarding, Child Protection and Abuse in Sport: International Perspectives in Research, Policy and Practice’ (Routledge, 2015), and ‘Bullying and the Abuse of Power’ (Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2010). She is regularly called on to speak in the national and international media on safeguarding, child protection, and violence prevention issues in sport, and is an expert reviewer for academic journals, Routledge sport book proposals, and the International Olympic Committee and Economic and Social Research Council grant applications.

Melanie's internals roles within Edge Hill University include acting as a supervisor and examiner of MRes and PhD candidates, chairing Posgraduate Research Student vivas, serving as the Social Sciences department International Co-ordinator for study abroad schemes, and sitting on the institutional Social Sciences Research Ethcis Committee.   


Research interests

Child protection and abuse in sport

Safeguarding in sport

Athlete welfare

Child welfare and well-being in sport 

Interpersonal violence in sport

Gender-based violence in sport

Sexual harassment in sport

Children's rights in sport

Youth sports

Sport policy implementation and evaluation

Qualitative research methods


Melanie introduced some of the first teaching modules on athlete welfare, child protection and children's rights in sport nationwide in her current and prevous institutions. She currently teaches modules on a range of sociology and sociology of sport themes and is a supervisor to MRes and PhD students working in the area of safeguarding and child protection in sport and physical activity. 

Education/Academic qualification

Academic Practice, PGCert, York St John University

Sociology of Sport, PhD, Leeds Beckett University


Sociology of Sport, MA, Leeds Beckett University


Modern Languages, BA, University of Sheffield

Other positions

Expert research member, Universite Laval

1 Oct 2019 → …

Member of the UK Coaching Safeguarding Talented and Elite Children Expert Group

2018 → …

Expert member of the Pool of European Experts on Sexual Violence in Sport

2017 → …

Member of the editorial board of the Irish Journal of Sociology


Member of the Sport England/ NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit Research Evidence and Advisory Group

2009 → …


  • H Social Sciences
  • sport, sociology, child protection, safeguarding, gender-based violence, athlete welfare, abuse
  • HM Sociology
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
  • GV Recreation Leisure

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where MELANIE LANG is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 6 Similar Profiles
Sports Social Sciences
child protection Social Sciences
coach Social Sciences
athlete Social Sciences
abuse Social Sciences
youth sports Social Sciences
abuse of children Social Sciences
violence Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2009 2018

23 Downloads (Pure)

Gender-based violence in EU sport policy: Overview and recommendations.

Lang, M., Mergaert, L., Arnaut, C. & Vertommen, T., 1 Feb 2018, In : Journal of Gender-based Violence. 2, 1, p. 109-118

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
sports policy
EU member state
2 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
5 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
abuse of children
Child Abuse
child protection
4 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)
child protection

Projects 2011 2021

CASES : Child Abuse in Sport: European Statistics

HARTILL, M., Rulofs, B., LANG, M., Vertommen, T., Martin, M., Allroggen, M. & Kampen, J.


Project: Research

Gender-based violence in EU sport

LANG, M., Mergaert, L., Arnaut, C. & Vertommen, T.


Project: Research

Activities 2009 2019