Supporting Parents to Enhance Children’s Sporting Experiences

New Sport Parenting Resources, supported by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and led by Swansea University is launched.

 Sport Parent EU

After 18 months of meetings, reviews, and discussion, today marks the launch of a series of resources to help sport parents to enhance their children’s sporting experiences.

The launch will take place through two conferences, one for coaches and one for parents, at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences and will be live streamed through the project website www.sportparent.eu.

Around the world, millions of children participate in sport. Their ability to participate in sport and enjoy their experience is largely dependent upon the support and guidance provided by parents, carers, and guardians.

However, supporting children involved in sport can be very demanding, as parents are increasingly committing extensive time, money, and emotional energy to youth sport opportunities. When experiencing such demands it can be hard for parents to know how best to support their children; whether on the sidelines at competitions, when deciding how many sports to play, what training to do, and providing appropriate nutrition.

Unfortunately, there are increasingly stories of parents “getting it wrong”, placing too much pressure or expectation on their children. This project has aimed to address this by producing resources to support parents so that they can subsequently enhance their children’s sport experience.

Led by Swansea University, this project, which was co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, has drawn on expertise of academics and practitioners working across Europe in the field of youth sport to provide better support for parents. Specifically, this project has utilised expertise from 10 organisations in the UK and Europe namely, the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit (UK), the International Center for Ethics in Sport (Belgium), Sport Wales, Sport NI, UK Coaching, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Loughborough University, Windesheim University (Netherlands), Norwegian School of Sport Science, and University of Southern Denmark.

Dr. Camilla Knight, an Associate Professor specialising in parental involvement in sport at Swansea University, who has been leading this project said, “Over the last 18 months it has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with colleagues across Europe to produce a set of evidence-based practical resources for sport parents. Having conducted research in this area for the last decade, it is really exciting to be able to draw all this information together and share it with parents. I look forward to seeing these resources positively impact upon the lives of parents and children involved in sport around the world."

Resources can be obtained through www.sportparent.eu and @sportparentEU