New postgraduate course to help address global crisis in sports integrity

Swansea University has secured a grant to establish a new postgraduate qualification which will create experts who will help address the global crisis in sports integrity.

Sport dopingAcademics at the Sports and Exercise Science department secured the €2.9 million grant from EU funding organisation Erasmus+ and are to launch an MA in Sport Ethics and Integrity (MAiSI) © in October 2017 with support from colleagues from:

  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Charles University, Czech Republic.
  • Johannes Gutenberg University, Germany.
  • University of Leuven, Belgium.
  • University of the Peloponnese, Greece.

The course was set up to respond to the ethical problems that are increasingly affecting the world of sport, from corruption, match fixing, doping and illegal betting. The new course will respond to an urgent need to develop a coherent, professional response to these issues of integrity within sporting bodies and organisations at every level.

Students will receive training to help them to identify ethical issues, engage in moral thinking, and translate decisions into moral actions – the three core skills required to develop sports integrity. They will also develop an ethical mind-set and transferable skills that to examine value and integrity issues facing national and international sporting federations, national Olympic Committees, and Paralympic Committees with a focus on:

‌• Global sports governance (e.g. FIFA, IOC)

• Anti-doping and drugs education

• Privacy and data protection issues

• Fair Play, justice and human rights

• Youth Olympics, ethics and education

• Equity, diversity and inclusion (especially age and disability issues)

• Illegal and irregular gambling

• Match-fixing and sport manipulation

• Legislation and codes of conduct

• Equality and anti-discrimination (class, race, ethnicity, religion and gender issues)

• Child protection and children’s rights

• Olympism, peace, and The Olympic Truce

Athletics stock shotThe MAiSI graduates will also take part in practical placements within the partner’s extensive network of advisory bodies, federations, policy-makers and commercial organisations, as well as from extensive international collaboration and training opportunities.

Course director Professor Mike McNamee of Swansea University’s College of Engineering said that the aim of the qualification is to professionalise sport ethics and governance and combat corruption, match fixing, and other threats to sports integrity.

He said: “At a time when confidence in the honesty in international sport at a low, this course may be one of the few chances to respond effectively and rapidly.  This course will establish sports ethics and integrity as a new, internationally recognised profession within the field of sports administration and governance in both public and private sectors.  We want to select students from around the world to develop 100 new postgraduate experts between 2016-21. These new experts will go on to enrich sport federations with their expertise in ethics and integrity and revolutionise the world of sport.”