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Leeds Beckett to examine student athlete use of substances for research project


A nationwide survey to explore the substance habits of British student athletes has been launched by Leeds Beckett.

Running track

The survey, which was adapted by the Carnegie School of Sport, asks questions on a broad range of substances, including those banned and accepted within sport.

British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) will approach all UK universities on behalf of Leeds Beckett to collect the data.

Dr Kelsey Erickson, who has been a Research Fellow at the university for two years, is heading the project.

Kelsey said: “The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) – the American equivalent of BUCS – has been conducting research in this area for decades, but no comparable research exists amongst British student athlete populations. With the NCAA’s permission, I adapted their established Substance Use Habits Survey in order to determine the general substance use behaviours of British student athletes.

“The survey results will provide critical insights into substance use trends that can be used to inform bespoke education and resources for British student athletes.

“The survey is totally anonymous so student athletes do not have to worry about being implicated by the findings. As the researchers, we will not know which universities or athletes take part as all universities have been invited.”

The National Survey of Substance Use Habits of Student Athletes is the first project Leeds Beckett has run in collaboration with BUCS. It is also the first time BUCS and the NCAA have interacted.

The NCAA conducts the survey within its member institutions every four years and the UK survey will employ the same approach.

“The NCAA is also looking forward to this collaboration with BUCS as it means they will have another country to compare their data to,” added Kelsey.

“With the support of BUCS, the survey was launched to every UK university in October and it will close on 1 May. We are hoping to get as many universities involved as possible.”

Further information on the survey can be found on the BUCS website.

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