Sport and those who run it have an important duty to ensure the safety and wellbeing of young participants. This text presents the findings of a unique research project into the experiences of a wide range of stakeholders in contemporary youth soccer, exploring crucial issues of child protection, social policy, and the culture and governance of sport. It covers:
The youth soccer context - twenty-first century family life, the sports policy background, and the organisation, governance and culture of the English game
Research findings - the experiences of children and young people, parents and carers, coaches, teachers, referees, Child Protection Officers, Football Development Officers, and those involved in women's, disability and professional soccer
Issues in social policy research - methodological, ethical and management challenges
Conclusions and implications - the benefits and limitations of different approaches to the protection of children and young people in sport.
For researchers, professionals and decision-makers, this text provides important new insight into the impact of child protection policies, and into the potential for evidence-based practice in youth sport.
Brunel University, London, UK University of Gloucester, UK Coventry University, UK University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK