• Child abuse, child protection, and defensive ‘touch’ in PE teaching and sports coaching

      Piper, Heather; Garratt, Dean; Taylor, Bill; Manchester Metropolitan University ; University of Chester ; Manchester Metropolitan University (Taylor & Francis, 2012-10-30)
      This article discusses recently completed research on ‘no touch’ sports coaching, by placing it in a broader social context which problematises the way child abuse and child protection (or safeguarding) are conceived and discussed in terms of policy and practice. It also provides a brief indicative summary of the research findings and offers a discussion of moral panic, risk society and worst case thinking, before drawing on Foucault's work on governmentality to offer an explanation of how the current situation arose.
    • ‘Safeguarding’ sports coaching: Foucault, genealogy and critique

      Garratt, Dean; Piper, Heather; Taylor, Bill; University of Chester ; Manchester Metropolitan University ; Manchester Metropolitan University (Taylor & Francis, 2012-10-31)
      Focusing on swimming, this article offers a genealogical account of safeguarding in sport. Drawing specifically on Foucault's work, it examines the ‘politics of touch’ in relation to the social and historical formation of child protection policy in sports coaching.
    • Sports coaches as ‘dangerous individuals’ - practice as governmentality

      Taylor, Bill; Piper, Heather; Garratt, Dean; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2014-03-31)
      Recent concern surrounding sports coaches’ interaction with young people has reflected a fundamental change in the way coaches and others regard the role of sports. In this paper, we consider the identification and definition of the contemporary sports coach (whether acting in a professional or volunteer capacity) as, in Foucault’s term, a ‘dangerous individual’. We suggest that the mainstream discourse of child protection and safeguarding, variously interpreted and applied, has contributed to a culture of fear in sports coaching practice. Drawing on data from a recently completed Economic and Social Research Council-funded research project, we argue that contradictions in policy and practice, which serve to privilege a particular discourse, have cast the coach as both predator and protector of young sports performers. This has undermined the role of the coach, led to intergenerational fear, created doubt about coaches’ intentions and promoted their adoption of defensive and protective practices. Utilising the concept of governmentality, we argue that, as a consequence, fundamental trust-based relationships, necessary in healthy athlete−coach engagement, have been displaced by a discourse embodied in sterile delivery and procedure governed by regulation and suspicion.
    • Sports coaching in risk society: No touch! no trust!

      Piper, Heather; Taylor, Bill; Garratt, Dean; Manchester Metropolitian University ; Manchester Metropolitian University ; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2011-08-22)
      This article discusses a UK based ESRC-funded research project which developed and deployed a case-study approach to issues of touch between children and professionals in schools and childcare, focusing on touch in sports coaching and its distinctive contextual and institutional characteristics.
    • Who teaches primary physical education? Change and transformation through the eyes of subject leaders

      Jones, Luke; Green, Ken; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2015-07-02)
      Primary physical education (PE) lessons tend to be taught by one, or a combination of, three different groups: generalist classroom teachers, specialist primary PE teachers and so-called ‘adults other than teachers’, who are almost exclusively sports coaches. Drawing upon data gathered from one-to-one interviews with 36 subject leaders (SLs), this study sought answers to two main questions: “Who delivers primary PE nowadays?” and “What are the consequences?” The findings revealed that the most common model for the delivery of PE involved responsibility being shared between the generalist class teacher and either a sports coach or specialist PE teacher. The SLs recognised strengths and weaknesses in all of the three main approaches used. However, while they favoured the use of specialist teachers because of their subject knowledge and expertise, the more prosaic constraints of cost and flexibility meant that the use of coaches had become increasingly popular. Whether or not, the growth of coaches is de-professionalizing the delivery of PE, it certainly appears to be exacerbating any existing tendency to turn primary PE into a pale imitation of the sport-biased curricular of secondary schools. Ironically, the apparent ‘threat’ to the status of PE in the primary curriculum (as well as the status of PE specialists) posed by the growth of coaches in curricular PE in primary schools may well be exaggerated by the Primary PE and Sport Premium which appears to have added momentum to a change of direction regarding staffing the subject – towards sports coaches and away from generalist classroom teachers and PE specialists. As the shift towards outsourcing PE to commercial sports coaches becomes increasingly commonplace it seems appropriate to talk of transformation, rather than mere change, in the delivery of primary PE.