PROGRESSING WELFARE AND WELLBEING IN SPORT

The Sport Census serves as the leading source of quality data about welfare and wellbeing in sport.


About The Sports Census

The Sport Census displayed on an ipad and laptop

Our simple, online tool helps sports institutions, organizations, systems and leagues get comprehensive data across 7 key areas quickly. This data, supplied in confidential state-of-the-art dashboard reporting, will:

  • enable informed decision-making
  • positively impact action
  • support recruitment, retention and sustainability

Annual updating will help you track trends and identify your next steps for how to further enhance welfare and wellbeing in your sport. Given the growing awareness and increasing importance of this area, comprehensive data is needed in order to demonstrate that welfare and wellbeing are essential features of your sport and quantify the impact of support provided.


Key benefits

1. Increase levels of participation

Help recruit and retain participants in sports, teams, and clubs.

2. Enhance performance

Improving welfare and wellbeing support enhances sporting performance.

3. Illuminate best practice

Athletes can decide which teams to play for based on who can support their needs.

4. Promote trustworthiness

Trust attracts athletes and supporters to your sport.

5. Boost sustainability

Comprehensive data informs decision making.

Feedback helps sports not only track trends and identify their next steps, but also learn how to respond and innovate with pace.

The Solutions Journal: A 2-minute Solution to Progressing Duty of Care in Sport


What people are saying

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

Sport offers so many opportunities but it has been shown that there is still much to do in the Duty of Care to those who are involved. To improve this requires an understanding of the current situation and The Sport Census allows this to take place from an independent perspective that also allows organisations to move forward in a very positive way.

The dedication that Professor Lavallee has shown in his continuing work is to be congratulated.


University of St Andrews

As our sporting offer continued to improve at the University of St Andrews, we had an increase in the number of elite athletes that we were seeking to support and an increase on the demands being placed on them. As such, we met with Prof David Lavallee to explore the work that he was doing around The Sport Census. Through conversations with David it became clear that his passion and expertise for the area of duty of care and the simplicity of the tool that he had created was such that we could gather data far beyond just our performance programmes. We therefore surveyed our entire cohort of sports clubs and their coaches quite simply because we could do so very easily. The tool itself is very simple and the survey takes only a couple of minutes to complete. Allied to the fact that it was clearly independent of St Andrews and anonymised, we enjoyed significant uptake in both years that we've conducted the survey so far. Out of that we have gained great insight into the seven key areas of duty of care, results which we can have great faith in.

As with the tool itself, Prof Lavallee was then able to present the data to us in a very easily digestible format. The dashboards are a very clear representation of our current status in any given category or overall and for any given group or the respondents as a whole. As such, we were then quickly able to identify areas of particular focus where we wanted to improve or target some 'easy wins' to gather momentum around our work. As mentioned above, to then be able to repeat the same process on an annual basis gives us reliable data to measure the impact of our work and help us identify where next to focus our attention. It has certainly validated the work that we have introduced since the first survey, mental health became a significant focus and our engagement with Student Services and the provision of education and training has had a marked positive effect. A less tangible but no less significant impact, in my view, is that after two surveys students are more aware than ever that St Andrews view duty of care as part of our work. That is important for us while we try and create a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment for the entire diversity of our student population. Sport, physical activity and well-being have always been inextricably linked but I believe we have seen a benefit in being more explicit about how that informs our work through initiatives like The Sport Census.

It has been a fantastic initiative, which we are excited to continue for years to come. It is so easy to work with Prof Lavallee and to conduct the survey and interpret the data that we look forward to many years of data that demonstrate our positive work around duty of care.


Irish Football Association

The Irish FA Foundation partnered with Sports Census to get a baseline of how we were perceived by our stakeholders in a number of areas around safeguarding, mental health and wellbeing. We received great support and advice from David in setting up the questionnaire and engaging with our target audience. The results were very useful to help plan our next steps in these areas and to see where we need to focus our attentions.


Press

Launch of The Sport Census - Abertay University

A new tool measuring welfare and wellbeing in sport has been launched to provide organisations with independent, reliable and inclusive information. The world’s first Professor of Duty of Care in Sport, David Lavallee of Abertay University, created The Sport Census in response to Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s review of this high-profile area...full article


Manchester Metropolitan University Utilise
The Sport Census for Athlete Wellbeing

We view the welfare of all of our participants as the foundation for any positive sporting experience. Alongside our desire to develop the sporting offer at the university, we understand the increased demands put on our athletes and coaches, and therefore the support that they need.

Whilst exploring this under-researched area it was refreshing to come across Professor Lavallee’ s anonymous and independent Sport Census. This allowed us to quantify particular areas of focus for our initiatives concerning athlete’s wellbeing. The plans to use the Sport Census as a foundation for collaborative working across the university sector in these areas is particularly ground-breaking and essential in my opinion. It has been great working with such an experienced individual in this area in Professor Lavallee throughout this year to consider ways to improve the student sport experiences.”...full article


Good results from our Well-Being Survey - NI Judo Federation

This survey has allowed us to quantify particular areas for programmes concerning members well-being. We can now focus on some of these areas over the next year.

The results of the study showed that Safeguarding and Safety, Injuries and Medical scored highly and that the areas for support should be focused in Mental Health for members and the Participants Voice for all. Northern Ireland Judo Federation will use the data collected to inform our decision making and take positive action over the next twelve months at which time we will make a review again ... full article


The Sport Census helps foundation to focus on 'next steps' - Irish FA

Keith Gibson, Football For All Manager at the Irish FA Foundation, revealed the survey had helped the foundation "to listen to all the different voices from the whole football family".

The results helped us identify our next steps in key areas and to see where we need to focus our attention ... full article


Articles

The Solutions Journal: A 2-minute Solution
to Progressing Duty of Care in Sport

Duty of Care in Sport has not previously been defined outside of legal terminology and implications. However societal expectations on what duty of care means have grown beyond this and sports are being asked the question “How are you demonstrating your commitment to the care of all involved?”

Until now there has not existed a comprehensive framework to define the broader meaning of duty of care in sport or a means to measure it. In 2017, a United Kingdom Government review of duty of care in sport recommended that an independent survey was needed to give equal voice to all stakeholders in the system.

We created The Sport Census in response to this recommendation and to answer the questions: what does good duty of care mean in a sporting context and how can it be measured? The goal of The Sport Census is to provide sports with a quick and easy tool that can illuminate best practice and empower informed decision-making and proactivity through accurate data reported by relevant stakeholders....more

Football Medicine & Performance Magazine: Success in Football is No Longer Enough

Success in football has an increasing emphasis on the process taken to achieve outcomes – or to put it simply, how success is achieved in football has become more and more important.

Duty of care has climbed the property stack in the minds of everyone who is interested in football in recent years.

We would say that football is in a position to help redefine what success and excellence in sport means by putting duty of care at the centre of what football does and delivers.

Download the full open access edition of the FMPA magazine, our article begins on page 28.


History and the Team

In 2017, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson conducted an independent review of duty of care in sport on behalf of the United Kingdom Government. The review established a framework that, for the first time, defined seven critical factors that comprise this area.

The review also highlighted the shortage of data in the area, and in particular the need for data from a wide range of people involved across sports. A priority recommendation was that Duty of care should be measured via an independent survey giving equal voice to all stakeholders in the system.

In response to this recommendation David Lavallee, the world's first Professor of Duty of Care in Sport, took an approach that integrated research, practice, and software development by partnering with specialists from sports science, software, data analytics, and athlete development to develop The Sport Census.

This integrated approach to progressing athlete development has helped sports not only track trends and identify next steps, but also learn how to respond and innovate with pace.

Powerful filtering and data visualisation of the survey results by the software allows for very specific stories to be told. These stories inform strategic planning, targeted funding and tailored program development. They also shine a light on best practice as well as identify areas for focus and opportunity for development.

Sport decision makers have applied the learning from the feedback to inform and improve policies and procedures and other areas of decision-making associated with sports administration, communications, and implementation.

The Sports Census has also allowed sports to demonstrate the impact and return on investment of the programs and services they deliver in response to data collected on an annual basis.

The Professor

Professor David Lavallee is a graduate of Harvard University and has published extensively in the area of welfare and wellbeing in sport. David is an international expert in sport career development and transitions with over 100 publications in the area and extensive experience of evaluating athlete development programs around the world.

The Practitioner

Athlete career transition and development specialist, Jane Lowder brings expertise in the design and implementation of career and education programs for athletes. Most prominent is the award-winning NRL CareerWise program designed for the full cohort of elite players in Australia’s National Rugby League.

The Data Guy

Jeff Lowder is the founder of Skoosh and creator of AthleteDS: innovative software for professional, elite and grassroots sports that supports and progresses athlete development and duty of care. Underpinning the important work of athlete career transition, wellbeing, education and welfare the AthleteDS software serves sports in Australia, NZ, the Pasific, the UK and Europe.

The Sports Scientist

Ruth Lavallee has been involved in sports science and medicine provision within higher education in the UK for over 25 years. Ruth’s interest and specialism is in area of physiological measurement and sports injury.


There is an increasing awareness that all parties engaged in the business of sports owe an essential duty of care to everyone involved. The challenge has been to define duty of care in sport and to measure it. David, Ruth, Jeff and Jane integrated research, practice, and software development to do just this so that sports can be appreciated, recognized, and celebrated for how they support athlete development.


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