Inaugural CPSS Seminar

The inaugural CPSS seminar, which is supported by the Institute for Social Responsibility (ISR), will be a special online event featuring two internationally renowned experts: Dr Natalie Barker-Ruchti from Öbrero University, Sweden, and Professor Leanne Norman from Leeds Beckett University, UK.

Date: Wednesday 10 November 2021
Time: 12:30-15:00 (GMT)
Location: Online event

This event has now passed, however, you are welcome to watch the recorded seminar on demand.

Programme

TimeSession
12:30Registration and Refreshments
13:00Welcome
Professor Jo Crotty, Director of the Institute for Social Responsibility.
13:05Introduction to the CPSS seminar series
Dr Mel Lang, CPSS Assistant Director and ISR Fellow
13:15The Impact of Gender on Safeguarding and Protecting Athletes in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics
Dr Natalie Barker-Ruchti, Öbrero University
14:10Short Break
14:15Sexual Discrimination in Elite Sports Coaching 
Professor Leanne Norman, Leeds Beckett University
15:00Close

Speakers

The Impact of Gender on Safeguarding and Protecting Athletes in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics
Dr Natalie Barker-Ruchti

Abstract:
Dr Natalie Barker-Ruchti
Dr Natalie Barker-Ruchti

Women’s artistic gymnastics (WAG) has since the 2016 USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal and the release of the Netflix documentary Athlete A in 2020 experienced a significant global reckoning. Never before have gymnasts from around the world turned to journalists and online media to disclose the realities they have experienced – violent coaching behaviours, abusive training methods, individual and organizational neglect and negligence, and a myriad of short- and long-term consequences to health, wellbeing, identity and more generally, lives.

In this presentation, I focus on the process of gendering that shapes how individuals experience themselves and their lives; how they are expected to behave and are organised and represented by formal institutions; and how they are ruled and categorised by governing bodies and legal systems (Risman, 2018). I demonstrate how this gendering constitutes WAG’s violent behaviours and abusive practices and discuss what this means for the protection and safeguarding of gymnasts (Barker-Ruchti, Schubring & Stewart, 2021). I then explore how the unitard, the full body dress that several German gymnasts have worn at the 2021 European Gymnastics Championships and the Tokyo Olympic Games can contribute to the cultural changes that are essential to transform WAG and ensure gymnast welfare.

Speaker biography:

Natalie is Associate Professor at the Division of Sport Science, School of Health Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. Ever since her Honours thesis in 1999, Natalie has researched women’s artistic gymnastics. This research has focused on understanding the gymnasts’ individual realities, but has also included studies on the history, governance, and media representations of the sport. The overall aim is always to enhance gymnasts’ wellbeing and ensure their safeguarding. Her scientific approaches have involved (auto-) ethnography, case study inquiry, visual analysis, and interview study. Currently, she runs the research project #gymnastalliance: An international study on women’s gymnasts speaking out about abuse. In 2016, Natalie founded the International Socio-Cultural research group on Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, ISCWAG.

Sexual Discrimination in Elite Sports Coaching
Professor Leanne Norman, Leeds Beckett University, UK

Abstract:

The Research Centre for Social Justice in Sport & Society in the Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University is well-recognised for its work on gender equity in sport, particularly within sport coaching. The programme of work, led by Professor Leanne Norman, aims to not only improve the representation of a more gender-balanced coaching workforce but also the inclusion of different groups of women within the profession who have largely been isolated and marginalised. For this talk, Professor Norman will focus on one particular recent study carried out by her and her team on behalf of the Female Coaching Network focusing on high-performance UK athletics coaching. What began as a study on how gender equity can be achieved within elite coaching in the sport soon brought to light serious issues of sexual discrimination, harassment, and even abuse. Often the focus of such issues within scholarly literature and practice is on athletes. While this is correct, a dual focus on coaches and their experiences of sexual discrimination and harassment is less well-documented. The purpose of this talk will be to introduce the programme of research on gender equity in sport within the Research Centre for Social Justice in Sport & Society, and then to discuss in more detail, the work carried out in high-performance UK Athletics coaching on issues of discrimination and gender.

Speaker biography:
Professor Leanne Norman
Professor Leanne Norman

Professor Leanne Norman is Director of the Research Centre for Social Justice in Sport & Society within the Carnegie School of Sport at Leeds Beckett University in the UK. She is an internationally recognised researcher for her research and writing within the area of gender equity and issues of diversity related to sports coaching, sports leadership, and organisations. Her work is driven towards improving the participation, performance, and leadership pathways for diverse social groups, principally, different groups of women. Leanne has written for academic and practitioner textbooks, written educational resources for coaches, and has published widely in academic journals related to sport and social issues. She has led national and international research projects as well as acted as academic expert and consultant for research funded by sport councils, governing bodies, and charities. Leanne utilises such research as the evidence for impactful outreach activities including leading the delivery of programmes towards supporting women to enhance their experience of sports coaching as a credible and valuable profession, as well as working with organisations to support them towards creating inclusive leadership and coaching workforces.

The inaugural CPSS seminar, which is supported by the Institute for Social Responsibility (ISR), will be a special online event featuring two internationally renowned experts: Dr Natalie Barker-Ruchti from Öbrero University, Sweden, and Professor Leanne Norman from Leeds Beckett University, UK.

Date: Wednesday 10 November 2021
Time: 12:30-15:00 (GMT)
Location: Online event

This event has now passed, however, you are welcome to watch the recorded seminar on demand.