Victoria University researchers have developed a ‘Sport Integrity Readiness Kit’ to protect community sports across the state.
Grassroots sports are increasingly confronting the same integrity and reputational threats as elite sports, such as match-fixing, the use of performance-enhancing drugs, and inappropriate behaviour of players, administrators and spectators.
Guidance for community sport groups
The kit, prepared for Sport and Recreation Victoria, contains materials, questions, and case studies to help sport clubs evaluate their ability to manage and safeguard sport integrity within their own organisations.
Developed by VU’s Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL) in collaboration with the University’s College of Business, the kit offers:
- evidence of integrity threats at community sport level
- definitions of terms such as supplements, match-manipulation, and gambling
- a sport integrity readiness template to help organisations improve their integrity management capability
- an action plan template to set and act on priorities.
Co-authors Professors Dennis Hemphill and Elisabeth Wilson-Evered said the initiative is important because previous research shows a low level of awareness and capacity to manage integrity issues at the community sport level.
VU’s extensive expertise in sport integrity
Victoria University has worked in the area of sport integrity for many years.
VU researchers have also presented training and workshops on ethics, ethical leadership, and integrity to elite-sport participants. The Western Bulldogs Football Club, AFL coaches, and a range of sport leaders at the West of Melbourne Leadership Forum in 2016 have all benefited from VU's expertise.
In addition, they have a leadership role – along with partner Sport Australia Hall of Fame – to promote sport integrity through a biennial Integrity in Sport Forum.
Currently, VU researchers are contributing to a national plan for an Integrity Commission, an independent sport-integrity investigatory and adjudication body that will apply integrity decisions in sport.
The researchers are seeking collaborations and funding to further develop and deepen VU’s evidence-based education, knowledge, and leadership development work with sporting bodies.