Brock prof launches digital book on safe sport movement in Canada

A new book by a Brock University Sport Management professor aims to continue the important discussion around safe sport.

The cover of Safe Sport: Critical Issues and Practices.

Launched Tuesday, April 5, Safe Sport: Critical Issues and Practices is an open-access, edited digital book providing timely and relevant content on the past, present and future of the safe sport movement in Canada, and critical insight for researchers, sport leaders and policy-makers.

The book is edited by Julie Stevens, Associate Professor in the Department of Sport Management and Director of the Centre for Sport Capacity (CSC) at Brock University. The Safe Sport book follows the Athletes First: The Promotion of Safe Sport in Canada forum hosted by the CSC in April 2021.

Stevens says the forum’s athlete-centred focus remains an important priority in the new resource.

“I believe we have finally reached the tipping point where stakeholders are ready to address the long-term negative ramifications of the failure to ensure safe sport for athletes at all levels of the Canadian sport system,” says Stevens. “With an athlete-centred approach, Safe Sport: Critical Issues and Practices provides evidence-based insight and practical case studies to inform discussion and action moving forward.”

A woman wearing a blue shirt standing in a hallway.

Julie Stevens, Associate Professor in the Department of Sport Management and Director of the Centre for Sport Capacity at Brock University.

As Editor, Stevens brought together a diverse group of academic and sector experts to examine the possibilities and limitations of the safe sport movement, which seeks to optimize the sport experience for all by ensuring the sport environment is free from maltreatment. Content addresses a range of key issues including: athlete advocacy; the role of coaches and officials; governance, policy and human rights; legal considerations; organization cases; and systems and culture change.

The free digital book features 18 chapters from 21 contributors, including researchers from Brock University, the University of Toronto and Ontario Tech University, as well as sport leaders from a number of organizations including AthletesCAN, the Coaching Association of Canada, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and Gymnastics Canada.

The intended audience for Safe Sport: Critical Issues and Practices is far-reaching, Stevens says.

The content’s thought leadership and latest evidence is presented through short chapters in plain language, complemented by practical case studies and textbook-style learning features.

“This ensures the content can be applied by sport leaders, policy-makers and researchers to enhance sport in Canada,” she says. “The book is also great for students. These future leaders must understand the multiple dimensions of creating and maintaining a safe sport system for lasting change.”

An abridged version of the digital book has also been produced in French. Sport sécuritaire: enjeux et pratiques critiques includes seven chapters from 11 contributors.

Safe Sport: Critical Issues and Practices was made possible with funding by the Government of Ontario and through eCampusOntario’s support of the Virtual Learning Strategy.

For more information and to download a digital copy, visit the CSC Safe Sport web page.

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