Sexual Harassment – Completed

1998-2004 Task Force on Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment and abuse in sport has risen rapidly up the sports agenda in the past few years, largely due to work of WSI members in the research, advocacy and policy fields.

The key researchers in the field are all WSI members and contributed to a major Symposium on the subject at the 2001 International Society of Sport Psychology Congress (ISSP) in Skiathos, Greece. The Symposium was organised and co-edited by Kari Fasting (Norway) and Celia Brackenridge (UK), both prominent WSI activists. The papers from that Symposium will be edited by them and will appear in a special issue of the Journal of Sexual Aggression in mid summer 2002.

Other notable WSI achievements in this field include:

  • Successful lobbying for the establishment of a permanent, funded Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) in the UK, housed in the country’s largest children’s charity – the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and co-funded by Sport England and the NSPCC. Celia Brackenridge, convenor of the WSI Task Force on Sexual harassment, has also been appointed chair of the CPSU’s Research Task Force
  • Keynote speeches on sexual harassment in sport by Celia, Kari and Trisha Leahy (Clinical Psychologist at the Australian Institute of Sport) at a series of major academic and professional conferences in the past two years including the ISSP, International Sociology of Sport, European College of Sport Sciences, Leisure Studies Association, British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences, UK National Play Conference, Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management, Council of Europe Committee for the Development of Sport (CDDS) (see below)
  • Award of the prize for the best social science paper at the 2000 International Olympic Committee Pre-Olympic Scientific Congress in Brisbane to Kari and Celia for their paper on sexual harassment of elite female athletes
  • A key role in the development of child protection and anti-harassment policy work in Australia (through Trisha Leahy), Canada (through Sandra Kirby) and Europe (though Kari and Celia). Most recently, Kari and Celia both presented keynote speeches to a Council of Europe CDDS SPRINT seminar of 26 European countries on the theme of preventing sexual harassment and abuse of women and children in sport
  • Consultancy with national and regional sport organisations and federal bodies to develop and implement policy on child protection and athlete welfare
  • Award of a major 5 year grant to Celia Brackenridge from the English Football (soccer) Association for research on the impact of child protection on the game
  • Media appearances and interviews on BBC television and radio, Sky TV and many other channels to spread the word about child abuse and protection needs in sport
  • Development and delivery of training workshops in USA (Carole Oglesby and Don Sabo), Canada (Sandra Kirby), UK (Celia Brackenridge) and Australia (Trisha Leahy) to improve professional standards and good practice in coaching and sports administration.

Celia Brackenridge
WSI Sexual Harassment Task Force Convenor

WSI Position Statement (2004)

WSI Brochure on Sexual Harassment and Abuse in Sport 2004 (.pdf)