Pictured are cyclists racing.

New research group to focus on issues of sport integrity

Academics from Loughborough University are combining their expertise as part of a new research group that focuses on sport integrity.

Lboro CSI – Loughborough Collaboration for Sport Integrity – aims to highlight research undertaken by different social scientists from across the institution.

Questions and debates around sport integrity have emerged as a topic of political, media and academic interest.

The interdisciplinary group looks to bring together experts and stakeholders and act as an ‘intellectual forum to explore past, present and emerging challenges and their implications for wider understandings of decency and fairness’.

Lboro CSI is formed of Dr Argyro Elisavet Manoli, Lecturer in Sport Marketing and Communications, Dr James Esson, Lecturer in Human Geography, Dr Carolynne Mason, Lecturer in Sport Management, Dr Serhat Yilmaz, Lecturer in Sports Law, and Dr Daniel Rhind, Reader in Organisational Psychology.

Dr Manoli, of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS), said of the research group’s importance: “Sport’s battle with issues of out-of-integrity has been intensifying lately, becoming increasing the topic of academic and public discussion.

“Lboro CSI has been created in order to channel this discussion and highlight the research conducted at the University on the topic, as well as its nexus and impact on real-life policy and practice.”

The group will begin its mission of generating discussion next month at an event that has received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Taking place on campus on November 8, ‘Young People’s Perceptions of Sport Integrity’ will see Loughborough University academics and PhD researchers meet with Loughborough College and Loughborough University Sport to initiate discussion on perceptions of sport integrity.

Students will be introduced to different issues, presented with a variety of case studies and then asked to share and debate their views with their peers.

Sunburst behind Hazlerigg building

The event taking place on campus encourages young people to share their views on sport integrity. 

Key policymakers and stakeholders in the sport industry – including former MPs and representatives from the likes of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, UNICEF, UK Anti-Doping, UK Coaching, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the English Institute of Sport and the BBC – will be present at the event.

They will join the students in an open dialogue on how policy can better underpin sporting integrity and what the role of young people should be in this.

Young People’s Perceptions of Sport Integrity is one of more than 300 activities and events that will take place nationwide as part of the ESRC’s 16th annual Festival of Social Sciences.

More information on the Loughborough event can be found on the dedicated webpage or by emailing Dr Manoli at E.A.Manoli@lboro.ac.uk.


Additional comments from LboroCSI members:

Dr Carolynne Mason (SSEHS): “Sport is an increasingly complex phenomenon that has the potential to deliver a range of positive outcomes for people who engage with it across their life-course. However, when sport is found to lack integrity this potential is jeopardised and engagement with sport can result in harmful outcomes for individuals, for organisations and for society.”

Dr Serhat Yilmaz (SSEHS): “For me, sport plays a vital role for society and its clean image and well-being is significantly important for that role. Therefore, it is equally important to tackle challenges to the integrity of sport. The Lboro CSI aims to do that by bringing together experts within the University whilst developing collaborative ties with international experts and related stakeholders working around the area and undertaking some cutting-edge research.”

Dr Daniel Rhind (SSEHS): “Recent high-profile cases of abuse in sport have highlighted that such abuse can be facilitated by an organisational culture that lacks integrity. It is through developing integrity in sport that we can help to not only safeguard those participating in sport but also sport as a whole.”

Dr James Esson, of the School of Social Sciences, said: “In an age of social media and global news media, incidents of corruption and deceitful conduct within the world of sport can have cultural, political and economic consequences that transcend national boundaries. A systematic and rigorous understanding of the causes and consequences of these conduct are needed. Lboro CSI aims to provide this much need intellectual forum to explore past, present and emerging challenges to sport integrity, and their implications for wider understandings of decency and fairness.”

The ESRC Festival:

The 16th annual Festival of Social Science takes place from 3-10 November 2018 with over 300 free events nationwide. Run by the Economic and Social Research Council, the festival provides an opportunity for the public to meet some of the country’s leading social scientists to discover, discuss and debate how research affects their lives.

With a range of creative and engaging events going on across the UK, there’s something for everyone including businesses, charities, schools and government agencies. The full programme is available at: www.esrc.ac.uk/festival. Catch up and join in on Twitter using #esrcfestival.