On the #HumanRightsDay the World Player Association launches its first global study on child athletes’ experience in collaboration with Loughborough University. EU Athletes is involved in the development and dissemination of the project with three of its affiliates (Associación de Jugadores de Fútbol-Sala, the Norwegian Players’ Association (NISO) and The Cyclist Alliance), alongside International Rugby Players, Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA) and Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA).
The pilot study, called Project CARE (Census of Athletes Rights Experiences), is the first that looks into the childhood experiences of professional players; it will last two years and aims to change the way the rights of child athletes are promoted and protected throughout world sport, by building recommendations for sport governing bodies and player associations that will help to prevent child rights violation from happening. The origin of the project arises from the need to draw the attention to young athletes’ education and protection, as the institutions that govern sport have ignored, from a policy point of view, their responsibility to put children’s best interests at the top of their priorities.
Project CARE involves athletes through an anonymous survey, available in five languages (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Japanese), to get information and data about their experiences when they were child athletes. The survey includes sections to assess respondents’ demographic profile; recognition of their rights; factors related to their development; support for their individual and collective power, participation and voice; experiences of different forms of violence (physical and emotional as well as sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation); experiences of help and protection; current sporting performance and indicators of personal well-being. Due to the nature of some questions that could be distressing, the World Player Association will make sure that local services and self-care resources are supporting psychologically the athletes, as declared by Gigi Alford, Director of Sport and Human Rights of the World Players Association.
The survey, which results are expected on Spring 2020, is online and shareable via email or messaging platforms.