Safeguarding and Child Protection in Sport in England

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    When British Olympic swimming coach Paul Hickson was convicted in 1995 of the rape and sexual assault of young athletes under his care, the Amateur Swimming Association, like most other English sports organizations, had no strategy for safeguarding and protecting athletes from abuse. The Hickson case drew national attention to sexual abuse in sport, although sports organizations initially denied such abuse was widespread and branded Hickson ‘a bad apple,’ an aberration that had nothing to do with the culture of sport. Further revelations of child sexual abuse in British sport surfaced in the late 1990s, resulting in intense media scrutiny and an emerging ‘moral panic’ around child sexual abuse in sport that arguably continues to shape safeguarding policies to this day. In the 20 years since Hickson’s conviction, British sport has been positioned as a world leader in athlete welfare, with developments from within and outside sport shaping the governance and practice of sport. This chapter highlights the background to these developments and discusses current strategies in place to safeguard and protect children and young people in sport in England.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSafeguarding, Child Protection and Abuse in Sport: International Perspectives in Research, Policy and Practice
    EditorsMelanie Lang, Michael Hartill
    Place of PublicationLondon
    Number of pages214
    ISBN (Print)9780415829793
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Publication series

    NameRoutledge Research in Sport, Culture and Society


    • safeguarding in sport
    • child protection in sport
    • youth sport


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