Brunel International Research Network for Athlete Welfare (BIRNAW)

Brunel International Research Network for Athlete Welfare (BIRNAW) is a group of international researchers who are working together to promote athlete welfare through research and consultancy. This work focuses on investigating the antecedents, prevalence and consequences of abusive relationships in sport. Through conducting research and monitoring behaviour, the group hopes to inform policy and practice to protect those with additional vulnerability in sport, such as elite child athletes and people with a disability. This network builds on the pioneering work conducted by Professor Celia Brackenridge in the Centre for Youth Sport and Athlete Welfare (CYSAW).

Funded projects

BIRNAW members have collaborated on the following projects:

  • Preventing sexual harassment and abuse in sport (European Commission)
  • Protecting children in sport in Japan (Daiwa Foundation)
  • Understanding player well-being (International Tennis Federation)


BIRNAW International Symposium 2013

BIRNAW's International Symposium took place at Brunel University on 6th November 2013. Click on the table below for links to the presentation slides from the day.

Prof Kari Fasting Collaborative research: Challenges and pitfalls across cultures
Prof Celia Brackenridge Dancing with the devil: The politics of working with sport organisations
Elaine Cook & ProfKim Dorsch Cultural norms in youth sport: What are they and how do we know?
Emma Kavanagh & Dr Ian Jones Cyberviolence: Developing a typology for understanding virtual maltreatment in sport
Prof Steve Greenfield Concerns about litigation with youth sport
Sally Proudlove Promoting partnerships to protect children in sport
Frank Owusu-Sekyere & Dr Misia Gervis Is creating mentally tough players a masquerade for emotional abuse?
Dr Abbe Brady A framework for humanisation and dehumanisation: exploring its potential for research and practices within athlete welfare
Dr Dean Ravizza Protecting children through sport in Uganda
Dr Mike Hartill Sport respects your rights - Empowering young Europeans in sport for a culture of respect and integrity and against sexualised violence and gender harassment
Dr Ashley Stirling Empower + creating positive and healthy sport experiences: A Coach education module written to safeguard athletes from abuse and harassment in sport
Dr Gretchen Kerr Safeguarding youth in sport: Lessons Learned from the education sector
Tine Vertommen Sport, a game with boundaries: Handling sexually transgressive behaviour via the flag system
Prof Sandi Kirby Sport Campaign by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection

BIRNAW was launched in July 2010 at an international symposium on elite child athlete welfare. You can access a free copy of "Elite Child Athlete Welfare: International perspectives", which is a book edited by Prof Celia Brackenridge and Dr Daniel Rhind.

You can access free copies of the books listed by clicking on the links below: 

"Sport, Children’s Rights and Violence Prevention:
A Sourcebook on Global Issues and Local Programmes
" which is a book edited by Prof Celia Brackenridge, Prof Tess Kay and Dr Daniel Rhind.

 Researching and Enhancing Athlete Welfare

The work of some members of this group was presented at a symposium at the International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport held in Glasgow in July 2012.

Respect research reports

FA Respect 2008 report

FA Respect 2009 report

FA Child Protection Research Reports

Child Protection in Football Research Project 2002

Child Protection in Football Research Project 2003

Abuse in Sport 2017

FIFA Reports

Child Protection and the FIFA World Cup report

Child Protection and FIFA World Cup REFERENCE LIST

Page last updated: Tuesday 30 May 2017