14 January 2020

Abertay academic's sport well-being tool utilised by Irish FA

Abertay academic's sport well-being tool utilised by Irish FA

A photo of David Lavallee smiling

A revolutionary tool to measure welfare and wellbeing in sport developed by an internationally renowned Abertay University academic has been utilised by the Irish FA Foundation.  

David Lavallee, the world’s first Professor of Duty of Care in Sport, created The Sport Census in response to Baroness Tanni-Grey Thompson’s review of welfare and well-being for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at Westminster.

Players, coaches, staff, referees, volunteers and parents completed the survey, which aims to give all stakeholders in a particular sporting system an equal voice.

"The performance and participation gains in the future will come by providing the highest standards of support in the well-being and welfare space" - Professor David Lavallee

Professor Lavallee said: “How success is achieved in sport is now more important than ever.

“The performance and participation gains in the future will come by providing the highest standards of support in the well-being and welfare space, and regular assessment is crucial to advancing the growth and development of a sport.” 

He said the Irish FA Foundation should be praised for its openness and transparency and for “engaging with its members in a way that allowed them to share their actual experiences of their sport independently”.  

Professor Lavallee added: “They also should be commended for their commitment to embracing development opportunities in the support areas they are taking positive action in over the next year.” 

Keith Gibson, Football For All Manager at the Irish FA Foundation said: ““We decided to use The Sport Census to get meaningful data on how we are perceived by our stakeholders in a number of areas around welfare and well-being. 

The results of the survey showed that safeguarding, mental health and equality, diversity and inclusion all scored highly and that our support should be focused on education and transition. 

“The results helped us identify our next steps in key areas and to see where we need to focus our attention. The Irish FA Foundation will use the overall information to inform our decision making and take positive action over the next year at which time we will complete The Sport Census again.” 

Abertay recognises the need to educate the next generation of sports practitioners in Duty of Care and Professor Lavallee's work in this area is now an integral part of all the University's sports programmes. 

For more information about Professor David Lavallee visit: https://www.abertay.ac.uk/staff-search/professor-david-lavallee/

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