Millions of Australian kids take part in some form of community sport each and every week.
And so they should. It’s proven that sport has a ton of benefits when it comes to kids’ mental, physical and social wellbeing. For kids though, the main reason they play sport is: “because it’s fun.” But when the sporting environment is no longer physically or emotionally safe, that fun can rapidly disappear. In recent years, cases of violence against children in sport in Australia have garnered national media attention. A recent national study by Victoria University looked at the frequency of experiences of violence against children in community sport in Australia.
The Wire’s Aryana Mohmood spoke to Dr. Mary Woessner, one of this country’s leading researchers into violence against children in Australian sport. She speaks about the value of community sport and findings of this study on children’s experiences in community sport. Dr Woessner is also a former elite college athlete in basketball in USA, and an all-round sport/exercise enthusiast. The Wire also spoke to Dr. Aurélie Pankowiak, research fellow within the Institute for Health and Sport at Victoria University.