Abertay launches sport welfare resource amid COVID-19

Abertay University has created a new resource to help sports groups meet their safeguarding obligations as the COVID-19 drives need for player support.

Created by students and supported by the University’s Bell Street Ventures enterprise programme, the Sports IntegriTay package is evidence-based, detailing best practice on a series of key duty of care measures, with themes across seven different areas including safeguarding, medical provision, career transition, mental health and inclusivity.

Professor of Duty of Care in Sport at Abertay, David Lavallee, launched the new resource and called on sports organisations to switch their focus to player welfare and support during COVID-19 or risk losing their top performers. He said:

“For the first time, many players are looking at their careers from a different perspective, and I think forward-thinking clubs are seeing this too. Players are coming to realise how important it is to play for a club that provides the support they need, and when they need it, for example making a transition to another career after they retire.

“What clubs do in the face of COVID-19 and how they respond coming out of it, will have a major impact on their sustainability.”

The Sports IntegriTay package can be used by a range of participants, including athletes, coaches, parents, recreational players and many others, and fresh content will be added on a rolling basis.

Abertay BSc (Hons) Sport Development and Coaching student Callum Walls was involved in creating the Sports IntegriTay resource. He said:

“Sports IntegriTay was a great project to be part of and I am proud to have created something which can play a small part in helping organisations, parents and guardians support the welfare needs of swimmers.

“Nobody knows what the sporting world is going to look like after COVID-19, but I think sharing ideas of best practice now allows for these concepts to be embedded into organisations and the minds of guardians, which will ultimate help create a more supportive environment for all.”