The Mulier Institute

Run for Health

The Mulier Institute participates in the international research project Run for Health, which is funded by the Erasmus + program of the European Commission. The project aims to promote sports, exercise and social well-being through the organization of running events. The mission of the project is fourfold:

  • Study of running events – from management, marketing, organizational policy and communication perspective – for in-depth insight.
  • Development of practical guidelines and policy recommendations for the organization of running events.
  • Stimulation of (international) communication between organizers of events and policy makers.
  • Increasing awareness about the (im) possibilities to stimulate sports, exercise and social well-being through running events.

The duration of the project is 24 months. Project partners are: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University of Leuven, European Association of Sports Management, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, Lithuanian Sports University and European Culture and Sport Organization.

For more information please contact: Paul Hover.

The 1st European research project on gender equality in sport

The Mulier Institute, along with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and NOC*NSF, will represent the Netherlands in the first European research project on gender equality in sport. Making gender equality a reality in sport is one of the main goals of the Council of Europe and the European Union. Through the “ALL IN – Towards gender balance” project, the Council of Europe is currently running a data collection campaign on women and men in sport in 19 European countries. The project focuses on six main areas: leadership, coaching, participation, gender-based violence, media / communication, and policies and programmes addressing gender equality in sport. The Ministry / government department responsible for sport, the National Olympic Committee and the national Olympic sports federations from each country are invited to contribute to this research.

The results of this research project will allow for comparisons between the situations in Dutch sports organisations and other organisations in the Netherlands and in the rest of Europe. Furthermore, the results will contribute to the development of relevant sport and gender policies at an international, European and national level. Results are expected by September 2019.

For more information please contact: Agnes Elling.

Edited book on ‘Disability Sport in Europe: Policy, Structure, and Participation. A cross-national perspective’

Planning is well underway for the book, “Disability Sport in Europe: Policy, Structure, and Participation. A cross-national perspective” (working title). Caroline van Lindert (Msc, senior researcher, Mulier Institute, the Netherlands), Prof. dr. Jeroen Scheerder (Professor, University of Leuven, Belgium), and Dr. Ian Brittain (Assistant professor, Coventry University, United Kingdom) will serve as editors for the book. International publication is expected by the end of 2020 or early 2021.  The possibility of an open access publication is being investigated.

The book aims to explore the role of national, regional, and local (sport) policies in stimulating the sports participation of people with disabilities, and how these policies contribute to the sport infrastructure for people with disabilities. The book will explain the various ways in which sport for people with disabilities is governed and organised in Europe, as well as the extent to which people with disabilities participate in sport (if data are available in the respective countries). The book will also identify various methods of data collection in sport participation research, as well as challenges in data collection in this population.

The book will be written from a cross-national perspective based on a collection of country-specific chapters from all regions of Europe, with up-to-date data, in-depth descriptions and analyses within a solid theoretical framework. This format will allow for the identification of similarities and differences between European countries in their policies, infrastructure and participation levels with respect to sport for people with disabilities.

The terms ‘disability’, ‘sport’ and ‘disability sport’ will be conceptualised theoretically in order to structure the descriptions in the country-specific chapters. In addition, a comparative framework focusing on the structuring, steering and supporting elements of sport policy, will serve as a guideline for the description of the policy system on disability sport in each country. Within this theoretical framework, authors will have ample room to explain country-specific particularities concerning their disability sport (policy) systems, which will enable the editors to draw conclusions regarding the concept of disability sport in Europe as a whole. Guest authors from almost 20 European countries have agreed to contribute to the book.

It is anticipated that the depth and breadth of this volume, together with its theoretical and cross-national perspective approach, will ensure its location as a valuable resource for academic study across a range of sport and disability related programs, as well as a point of reference for researchers and policymakers working in this area. In addition, the intention is to demonstrate the importance of including ‘disability’ as a variable in (statistical) data collection on sport and sport participation, and to raise interest for further research about sport for people with disabilities across Europe.

For more information please contact: Caroline van Lindert.

Safe Sport Allies: Safeguarding children from violence and abuse in local sport clubs

Too many children experience sexual, psychological, or physical violence during their participation in organized sport. Following painful disclosures and prevalence studies that can no longer be overlooked, child protection and safeguarding practices are being developed and implemented throughout European sport. However, to date, these initiatives lack solid evidence of impact. Monitoring and evaluation data barely exist, which compromises an evaluation of their effectiveness. Moreover, grassroots sport clubs seldom have designated staff to adequately implement the required procedures and practices.

One of the most devastating factors in too many stories of violence against young athletes is the phenomenon of bystanding. Even though child abuse is in most cases a repeating event, signs of abuse are still often overlooked, or bystanders decide not to act upon them. Passive bystanding contributes to the continuation of children’s suffering and protects the abuser. In order to stimulate prosocial bystanding, it is crucial to educate sports club stakeholders on when and how to intervene in case of a report, disclosure, or concern.

In this European collaborative partnership, we aim to take an evidence-based approach in setting up, implementing, and evaluating bystander interventions. A multidisciplinary group of sport administrators, survivors, safeguarding practitioners and researchers will develop an educational program for athletes, coaches and parents, and a policy roadmap for club managers. In order to test the effectiveness, a longitudinal evaluation study with an intervention and control group will be conducted in two countries.

This project will provide useful insights in developing, implementing, and evaluating an intervention program to stimulate prosocial bystander behavior and safeguard children in grassroots sport clubs. By organizing national workshops and a European webinar, the educational materials will be disseminated into the wider EU sport community. The project consists of nine different partners from seven different countries. The coordination of the project is in hands of Thomas More, Antwerp. The Mulier Institute is co-coordinator of the project and responsible for the theoretical development of the bystander intervention program.