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 increased their efforts to ensure athlete health, safety, and well-being, often prompted by high-profile disclosures of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse; bullying; discrimination; disordered eating; addiction; and mental health issues. In this book, contributors lift the lid on these and other issues that jeopardise the physical, emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual welfare of athletes of all ages to raise awareness of the broad range of challenges athletes face. Chapters also highlight approaches to athlete welfare and initiatives taken by national and international sport organisations to provide a safer, more ethical sports environment.

As the first book to focus exclusively on athlete welfare, this is an essential read for students and researchers in sports studies, coaching, psychology, performance, development and management, and physical education. It is also a useful reference point for anyone working in welfare, safeguarding, child protection, and equity and inclusion in and beyond sport.

chapter |11 pages


part I|41 pages

Conceptualisations of athlete welfare

chapter 2|9 pages

Scientism and the welfare of athletes

Minds, brains, genes and agency

chapter 3|10 pages

Organisational obligations toward athlete transitions

Confronting the bureaucratisation of athlete welfare with an ethics of care

chapter 4|11 pages

Athlete shaming and the ethics of care

Opposing forces in sport coaching

part II|83 pages

Current concerns in the welfare of athletes

chapter 7|13 pages

Presenteeism in elite sport organisations

A framework for understanding athletes’ decisions to practise sport despite health concerns

chapter 9|14 pages

Welfare and the protection of young athletes

An analysis of the nature and prevalence of bullying behaviours in sport settings

chapter 10|9 pages

Degrading and harming new teammates during hazing

‘Athletes will be athletes’

part III|41 pages

Athlete mental health

chapter 12|12 pages

Mental health in sport

chapter 13|10 pages

Suicide among athletes

chapter 14|10 pages

The athlete and addiction

chapter 15|7 pages

Eating disorders and disordered eating in sport

The hidden role of sporting organisations and how the cycle can be broken

part IV|38 pages

Equity and inclusion as an athlete welfare concern

chapter 18|13 pages

Locked out

Examining binary-gendered locker rooms as a key site for trans athlete welfare

part V|81 pages

New agendas and missing voices

chapter 19|10 pages

Virtual technologies as tools of maltreatment

Safeguarding in digital spaces

chapter 20|11 pages

The welfare of adolescent high-performance action sport athletes

The case of young commercially sponsored Dutch kite surfers

chapter 21|9 pages

Examinations of sports workers’ welfare in spaces of geopolitical conflict

‘The country is under threat, but the game goes on’

chapter 22|12 pages

Pasifika rugby migration and athlete welfare

Stairway to heaven

chapter 23|14 pages

Countering the trajectories towards new forms of violence in youth

Enhancing protective factors through sports

chapter 25|11 pages

Factors influencing the mental health of sports match officials

The potential impact of abuse and a destabilised support system from a global context

part VI|47 pages

Stakeholders in athlete welfare

chapter 27|10 pages

Consent and complicity

The athletes’ role in the normalisation of damaging coaching practices

chapter 29|12 pages

Moving beyond unproblematic policy implementation

Some micro-level reflections on social interaction, emotion, and the enactment of safeguarding policy in sport