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Helping Develop Integrity in Sport

In this section we share ideas about how you, as a parent, can help foster a positive culture or climate that supports and promotes positive moral behaviour.

Sport integrity concerns the moral or ethical aspect of sport. It refers to those involved in sport acting in a way that is consistent with their sporting values and principles. The right sporting environment provides an opportunity to develop values and skills that are important both within sport and also for life outside of sport. These include; respect for others, cooperation and team-work, problem solving, conflict resolution, fairplay, and resilience.

Moral behaviour in sport can range from examples of excellent moral practice to those that threaten or challenge our ideas of sport integrity. We might think of excellent practices being those that represent good sportspersonship. This can extend beyond just following the rules to acting in ways that promote good sporting values. For example, helping rather than hindering a referee by being honest over whether a foul has occurred, or a ball has landed in or out of bounds. There are also examples of practices that threaten sport integrity. Cheating, such as diving in football or doping in sport, are two high profile examples of competitors seeking to gain an advantage in a dishonest fashion. 


Questions about integrity and moral development

What can I do to ensure my child gains as many benefits from their sport participation as possible?

As a parent, you can focus on certain positive values and experiences associated with sport. Ask whether your child has enjoyed their session, what they’ve learnt, or whether they think they are improving. This will help to keep the focus on positive benefits of sport and the fun it can provide.

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Given all the negative press about sport, why would I want my child to participate?

Sport receives a lot of negative media attention. However, this often sensationalises less common but nevertheless high profile misconduct. Positive moral behaviour is regularly displayed in sport: sporting success often requires teamwork, dedication, striving to improve, and overcoming barriers. Shining a light on admirable rather than questionable moral behaviour provides a good foundation for a positive sporting environment. 

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Doping and drug use seems increasingly prevalent in sport. Why is this and what can I do to prevent my child getting caught up in this?

Doping and drug use in sport is an area that fosters great interest and receives a lot of media attention. It is difficult to get an accurate representation of how many people use performance enhancing drugs in sport but we can safely say that most participants play clean. It is important to focus on high profile role models who reflect the sorts of behaviours we associate with sport integrity, including participation and success without the use of performance enhancing drugs. It is important as a parent to be aware of the sporting culture within which your child competes and to be attentive to any potential problems with this environment.

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I want to ensure my child is not breaking any doping rules, where can I find out about what can and cannot be consumed?

To ensure you are getting the right information about banned substances always use the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) website and the website of your child’s Sports Federation or National Governing Body.

Visit the resources area to search and download our series of helpful documents.

Visit our resources section

Other useful resources are also available, we've provided a few links here

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