A holistic approach towards detecting, preventing and reporting cases of sexual harassment
Frederick University contributes to the prevention, detection and combat of sexual harassment in sports through its participation in iSports, a project funded by the “Support For Collaborative Partnerships In The Field Of Sport“ ERASMUS+ Programme.
At a time when cases of sexual harassment and assault in sports are making the headlines in Cyprus, Frederick University participates in iSports (Integrated Approach for the Prevention, Detection and Combat of Sexual Harassment in Sports), an international consortium of eleven partners, universities and organizations from Greece, Italy, Ireland, Turkey and Cyprus. The project aims at establishing mechanisms to protect and support young athletes from any form of sexual harassment and develop a multifaceted approach towards this issue. It also goes beyond the theoretical context by adopting a practical set of tools to detect cases of sexual harassment and create a safe environment so that they can be reported.
“In light of the sexual harassment complaints in the field of sports both in Cyprus and abroad, Frederick University’s participation in iSports is not only critical but also essential to combat and eliminate this unwanted phenomenon” said Dr Elena Papacosta, Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at the Physical Education and Sport Sciences program of Frederick University’s School of Education and Social Sciences. Dr Papacosta is also a researcher and coordinator of Frederick University’s team in iSports. The team also consists of Dr Panos Constantinides and Dr Garyfallos Anagnostou, both Assistant Professors of the Physical Education and Sports Sciences program of Frederick University. As Dr Papacosta notes, “Being a University with expertise in the field of physical education and sport sciences, we participate in iSports and have undertaken the task of creating educational tools which will then be evaluated and finalized in collaboration with the University of Thessaly in Greece, in order to be used by our partners. The consortium’s ultimate goal is to contribute to the prevention and combat of sexual harassment in sports.”
The educational material developed will then be promoted as an interactive tool on how to manage sexual harassment cases effectively and protect young athletes against such incidents. The material will be available to sport professionals, athletes and parents, sports associations, sport-specific policymakers, as well as to other interested parties within the community.
The iSports project is implemented by the undergraduate program in Physical Education and Sport Sciences of Frederick University’s School of Education and Social Sciences. The purpose of this innovative program is to provide a high level academic education and applied knowledge for the vocational preparation of sports scientists and physical educators, in the area of Sports, Recreation and Health. The curriculum offers knowledge in the theory and practice of physical education and sports, and in fields such as training, rehabilitation, tourism, recreation and health, while encouraging the production of new knowledge.
Apart from Frederick University, the following organizations participate in iSports: the University of Thessaly (Greece) which is the coordinator of the project, the Hellenic Volleyball Federation (Greece), Helping Hand NGO (Greece), Symplexis (Greece), the Center for Social Innovation LTD CSI (Cyprus), L’ORMA, Societa Sportiva Dilettantistica a responsabilita limitata (Italy), Organizzazione per l’ educazione allo sport (Italy), the Business World and Sustainable Development Association (Turkey), Unye Gucu Futbol Kulubu Dernegi (Turkey) and Champions Factory Ireland Limited (Ireland).