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Leeds Beckett University helping to foster Clean Sport


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Our University has been invited to be one of a select group of universities worldwide to pilot a new anti-doping education programme.

Leeds Beckett University helping to foster Clean Sport

Working closely with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the School of Sport in the Carnegie Faculty will roll out the programme starting on Monday 2 February to level four Sport and Exercise Science (SPEX) students.

Throughout semester two, all level four students studying Sport and Exercise Science will take part in the University Anti-Doping Project, an education programme that has emerged from a collaboration between WADA and International Federation for University Sports (FISU). Participation in the pilot was via invitation and only eight or nine universities worldwide are taking part. 

Targeted at University students, the Anti-Doping Project represents a positive move to spread educational efforts beyond elite level athletes. Universities house athletes across all participation levels, as well as the next generation of athlete support personnel.

Professor Sue Backhouse, Head of the Centre for Sports Performance and an international expert in the prevention of doping in sport, said: “It is important that our SPEX students understand their enhanced role and responsibilities under the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code, which came into force on 1 January 2015. They may not be aware that under the Code they are required to be knowledgeable of and comply with the anti-doping policies. Furthermore, they are expected to positively use their influence to help develop ethical standards, strong values and foster anti-doping attitudes.”

Tony Cunningham, Manager for Education and NADO/RADO Relations at WADA, added: “The University Anti-Doping Project is a collaboration between the WADA, the International Federation for University Sports (FISU) and the Organising Committee of the Gwangju 2015 Universiade. Its goal is to develop a curriculum for anti-doping that will target future athletes, future athlete support personnel and people and future sport practitioners in a wide array of fields. As a leader in the anti-doping research field, Leeds Beckett also continues to be a leader in delivery of anti-doping projects as one of the participating universities in the pilot for the University Anti-Doping Project. Information and knowledge gained from the pilot project will contribute to a curriculum being made available to universities worldwide.”

Over the semester, SPEX students will undertake five anti-doping units that cover topics such as the history of doping in sport, health and social consequences of doping, vulnerability factors and prevention. In designing the prevention curriculum, WADA and FISU drew on research conducted by Professor Backhouse, Dr Laurie Patterson and Professor Jim McKenna; demonstrating that our research directly informs global policy and practice. Furthermore, staff and students engaged in the pilot will feed directly into the programme evaluation and help shape its development before it is widely disseminated. At the same time, researchers from the Carnegie Clean Sport Research Group in the Centre for Sports Performance will have the opportunity to share some of their latest research findings to further enhance the evidence base underpinning the programme.   

 For further details of our efforts to promote Clean Sport, please contact Professor Backhouse.

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