Melanie Lang

Melanie Lang
Edge Hill University · Department of Social Sciences

PhD MA BA (Hons) FHEA

About

40
Publications
6,815
Reads
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356
Citations
Citations since 2017
16 Research Items
253 Citations
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Introduction
Director of the research Centre for Child Protection and Safeguarding in Sport. Research, consultancy & training in safeguarding, child protection & children’s ‘voice’ (participation) rights in sport. Sociologist. Books: Routledge Handbook of Athlete Welfare (2020), Safeguarding, & Child Protection and Abuse in Sport: International Perspectives (2015).
Additional affiliations
August 2021 - August 2022
Edge Hill University
Position
  • Fellow
August 2008 - June 2009
York St. John's University
Position
  • Lecturer Sociology of Sport
September 2005 - July 2008
Leeds Beckett University
Position
  • Lecturer sociology of sport and leisure
Education
January 2006 - December 2008
Leeds Beckett University
Field of study
  • Safeguarding and child protection in sport
September 2003 - July 2004
Leeds Beckett University
Field of study
  • Sociology of sport

Publications

Publications (40)
Article
Full-text available
It has been suggested that child safety discourses are creating an environment in which safety from abuse defines every act of adult-child touch as suspicious, resulting in adults who work with children being positioned as ‘risky’ and child-related settings becoming no-touch zones. Research on the impact of these discourses on coaches is limited an...
Article
Full-text available
Policy on or relating to gender-based violence (GBV) in sport settings has a relatively recent history. This paper traces developments in this area at a European level and within individual EU Member States’ national frameworks. In doing so, it draws on data gathered in 2016 as part of a study commissioned by the European Commission’s Education, Au...
Article
Recently, coach accreditation structures have involved the ‘fast-tracking’ of former elite athletes into coaching roles. This means that former athletes are having their coach education shortened for their time already served in the sport. Some of the reasons for fast-tracking include the perception that former athletes will quickly gain player res...
Article
Full-text available
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child makes clear that children have the right to protection from violence and the right to be heard. There have been many developments in sports organisations’ approaches to protecting children in recent years. The same cannot be said of advancing children’s right to be heard. I argue this is due...
Article
Research shows that athletes across levels and sports have been subjected to maltreatment with non-sexualized forms such as psychological abuse and neglect found to be the most common. With the normalization of many of these forms of abuse occurring in sports, researchers have called for the ‘safeguarding’ of athletes to focus on prevention through...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To establish the extent to which Rugby Union was a compulsory physical education activity in state-funded secondary schools in England and to understand the views of Subject Leaders for Physical Education with respect to injury risk.MethodA cross-sectional research study using data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (2000) from...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about the prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV) in sport in European Union (EU) Member States (MS). The research question underpinning this study was therefore: What is the nature and extent of gender-based violence in sport in the EU? The study involved a scoping exercise that mapped existing research on the incidence and/or pr...
Chapter
This chapter begins by defining ‘athlete welfare’ and how this was conceptualised for the edited collection, The Routledge Handbook of Athlete Welfare. It goes on to provide an overview of the socio-cultural context of sport to explore why athletes are at particular risk of a range of issues that can compromise their welfare, physically, emotionall...
Chapter
Checking the criminal history of those who work with children and young people has become a key mechanism by which sports and other organisations globally attempt to protect children. The main purpose of such checks is to prevent known (and, in some cases, suspected) offenders from gaining access to vulnerable groups. They check an individual’s nam...
Chapter
This chapter traces developments in international policy and discourse on athlete welfare, identifying how sports policy has shifted from a focus in the 1970s on the prevention of sex discrimination and the promotion of equality for women to a contemporary focus on the prevention of sexual violence against athletes, especially children. The implica...
Book
Athlete welfare should be of central importance in all sport. This comprehensive volume features cutting-edge research from around the world on issues that can compromise the welfare of athletes at all levels of sport and on the approaches taken by sports organisations to prevent and manage these. In recent years, sports organisations have increase...
Presentation
Full-text available
Presented at the Leeds Beckett University CarnegieXChange seminar series, Leeds, for International Women's Day celebrations.
Article
Full-text available
The abuse of children in sport has received considerable attention in recent years not least in the UK, where high-profile disclosures of abuse by former sports professionals© have led to several independent inquiries and reviews. Subsequent public and media interest has focused on the potential scale of 10 child abuse in sport. This scrutiny has h...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The recent interest in child sexual abuse in sport by the British media is unprecedented. However, the first public comment on this issue occurred over 30 years ago, when the British feminist academic Celia Brackenridge addressed the UK national conference of sports coaches in 1986. Nevertheless, it was not until the late-1990s that the first child...
Presentation
Full-text available
Invited keynote address at the National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers (NOTA) annual conference, Cardiff, Wales.
Article
Full-text available
It has been suggested that sport is increasingly becoming a “no-touch zone” as some coaches, driven by a desire for self-protection, restrict their use of physical contact with (child) athletes in the belief that this reduces their risk of being accused of abuse. Research on coach–athlete physical contact is limited, however, and no studies have ye...
Article
Full-text available
This paper (re)tells the story of a sports coach who was accused of emotional abuse of a child athlete and, following an investigation by his club, cleared of the allegation. Accounts of such allegations are rare and no research to date has explored coaches’ lived experiences of this. Such stories are ‘dangerous’ and remain largely unrecognised and...
Presentation
Full-text available
Invited speech at the International Symposium on Safeguarding Children in Sport, National Institute of Fitness and Sports, Tokyo, Japan
Article
Full-text available
When Olympic coach Paul Hickson was convicted in 1995 of sexually abusing youth swimmers, the Amateur Swimming Association introduced a child protection policy and guidelines and coach education courses on ‘good practice’. However, little is known about coaches’ understandings of ‘good practice’ or how this is realised in sporting environments. Und...
Chapter
Since revelations of child sexual abuse in English sport surfaced in the late 1990s, significant developments in legislation and policy have reshaped the governance and practice of sport, rendering sport in England a world leader in athlete welfare. This chapter highlights the background to these developments and discusses the strategies in place t...
Chapter
This introductory chapter highlights the contemporary policy landscape of safeguarding in global sport beginning with a discussion of the recent shift away from the narrower, reactive child protection agenda and towards the more holistic and proactive safeguarding agenda. It also discusses various approaches to safeguarding and protecting children,...
Chapter
Sport is a key part of the Slovene national identity. Despite this, there are only limited empirical studies of violence, child abuse and broader safeguarding issues in Slovenian sport. This chapter reviews the laws and policies within Slovenian sport and brings to the fore recent allegations of child abuse in sport that have received significant m...
Chapter
The idiom ‘prevention is better than cure’ is never more apparent than when applied to the abuse and neglect of children. In recent decades, prevailing attitudes about child abuse have shifted, reflecting a turn to a more holistic approach to safeguarding and an increasing demand that organizations explicitly recognize children’s rights. This chapt...
Article
Full-text available
Child protection in sport emerged at the start of the 21st century amidst headlines about coaches raping, sexually assaulting and abusing children. Against this backdrop, in 2001 the UK government established an independent agency, the English Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU), which introduced national child protection standards for sports org...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Report available at: http://repository.edgehill.ac.uk/6070/1/Research_Report-Safeguarding_in_RL-libre.pdf
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
The LTAD (Long Term Athlete Development) model has come to represent a sports-wide set of principles that significantly influences national sports policy in England. However, little is known about its impact ‘on the ground’. Research is yet to investigate how national sporting bodies have adapted the model to their specific requirements and how loc...
Article
Full-text available
Underpinned by a Foucauldian analysis of sporting practices, this paper identifies the disciplinary mechanism of surveillance at work in competitive youth swimming. It highlights the ways in which swimmers and their coaches are subject to and apply this mechanism to produce embodied conformity to normative behaviour and obedient, docile bodies. The...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
This project investigates the implementation, outcomes, and transferability of an athlete- and coach-led abuse education programme. The education programme teaches athletes of all ages, from children through to adults, about non-sexual abuse and neglect. By providing abuse education for children through to adults (i.e., a ‘bottom up’ approach), the project aims to prevent athlete maltreatment from being normalised and identify best practice in teaching athletes, coaches and sporting stakeholders about abuse in sport. Project team: Dr Jenny McMahon of the University of Tasmania, Australia; Dr Melanie Lang, Edge Hill University, UK; Professor Kerry McGannon, Laurentian University, Canada; and Dr Christopher Zehntner, Southern Cross University, Australia. Dr McMahon is the project lead.
Project
CASES aims to establish prevalence rates for child maltreatment in European sport. The project will develop and implement an online questionnaire to survey young adults across six EU countries (Austria, Belgium, England, Germany, Romania, Spain). In addition, the project team will develop educational resources that will assist the sports community to better understand the problem of child maltreatment.
Archived project
This study provides an overview of the legal and policy frameworks, describes initiatives promoted by sport and civil society organisations, identifies best practice in combatting gender-based violence in sport and makes recommendations for future action. Due to a lack of studies and methodological difficulties, reliable prevalence and incidence data on (forms of) gender-based violence in sport are strikingly absent across the EU and internationally. The terminology used to refer to forms of gender-based violence varies greatly across the EU, and there remains a lack of clarity in legal texts. The policy frameworks of fewer than half of all EU Member States make explicit reference to forms of gender-based violence in sport. Various approaches to prevent gender-based violence in sport were identified. Most initiatives target sports organisations (including federations, associations, and clubs) and coaches. These were mostly carried out on an ad-hoc basis. A holistic approach to fight gender-based violence in sport is needed that considers: an assessment of the magnitude of the problem; prevention initiatives; comprehensive legal, policy and disciplinary provisions to prosecute and punish perpetrators and to protect athletes from gender-based violence; provision of services for those subjected to acts of gender-based violence; and multi-level, multi-disciplinary and multi-actor partnerships.