BeFore: Anti-Bullying Education For Sports Coaches – Dr. Brendan O’Keeffe.

Before Project Team Murcia Spain (002)

On October 20th and 21st, partners on the Erasmus+ Before project from Ireland (DCU, UL), Germany (ENSE), Sweden (Friends) and Spain (Universidad de Murcia) gathered in the beautiful city of Murcia for our second in-person meeting following the project launch in Dublin last March.  

Led by Dr Siobhan O’Reilly (Anti-Bullying Centre, DCU) and a former student of the PESS Department Colm Canning (who has since taken up a new position as a programme manager at WorkDay), this project aims to review the current antibullying policies in place and address the need to improve educational training programmes for coaches, trainers, teachers and managers in an effort to create more desirable sporting experiences for all involved in sport. The main goals of the project are to; 1) Research best practice in dealing with bullying in sport; 2) Conduct a review of the current policies in place in each project partner country and examine coaches and participants experiences of bullying; 3) Create a comprehensive, far-reaching, inter-disciplinary ‘Anti-Bullying Education for Sports Coaches’ training and education programme.

The project will include a particular focus on fostering inclusion among key target groups, including; 1) gender 2) special needs, and 3) migrants and minorities. How to best minimise the risk of bullying within sport from peer to peer, coach to athlete and coach to coach will be established. The next phase of the project will involve a comprehensive review of participants (u-18 and adult) and coaches experiences of bullying in sport across the four partner countries. This ambitious leg of the project will include the collection of both quantitative (survey) and qualitative (interview) data to determine the current trends and prevalence among those at the coalface.

It is anticipated that the education programme will provide the opportunity to enhance a coach’s ability to, not only recognise bullying, but to deal with it effectively and look at their own behaviour for the change required to provide an inclusive environment, literally from ‘the grassroots up’.

If you are interested in following the Before Project, check out #TheBeForeProject on Twitter or the project website @ where you can reach out to the project team for more information.

Le meas,

Brendan O’Keeffe


Dr Brendan O’Keeffe is a Lecturer in Physical Education in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, UL.

Contact:   @BrendanOK_@PEPAYS_Ireland.  ResearchGateORCID


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