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Shining a Light on the Abuse of Boys in Sport

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Thursday 22 February 2024





Law and Psychology

Headshot of Professor in Sociology of Sport, Mike Hartill.

This event is one of our 2024 Inaugural Lectures series with Professor in Sociology of Sport, Mike Hartill.

“In my inaugural lecture, I will shed light on a widely overlooked issue: the sexual exploitation and abuse of boys in sport. Contrary to popular notions of sports, this dark reality was absent in research until autobiographical accounts from male survivors surfaced in the early 2000s. A high-profile disclosure by a former professional footballer in 2016 triggered hundreds of former male footballers to share their own experiences, unveiling the magnitude of the problem.

Despite recent strides in research addressing the sexual victimisation of males, the gap within the study of sport remains vast, considering the global participation of boys and men in sports. 

“Leveraging over two decades of research and advocacy, my lecture will examine the urgent need to address and understand the sexual exploitation of boys and men within the realm of sport.”

About Professor Mike Hartill

Since joining Edge Hill in 2000, Professor Mike Hartill has spearheaded sport sociology. As co-director of the Centre for Child Protection and Safeguarding in Sport (CPSS), he has dedicated over two decades to working with adult survivors of sexual abuse in sports and introduced the first undergraduate module on child welfare and safeguarding in sports.

Professor Hartill’s pioneering contributions have seen him work with numerous organisations, including Voices for Truth and Dignity (the VOICE Project) – a collaboration between eight European countries focused on the experiences of victims of sexual abuse in sport; and the prevalence study CASES (Child Abuse in Sport: European Statistics), both funded by the European Union. He was also appointed to support the English Football Association’s independent review into allegations of child sexual abuse in football led by Clive Sheldon QC.

Event programme

5.30pmWelcome Reception
6pmInaugural Lecture
7pmNetworking and Refreshments

Who is this event for?

Current staff Current students Everyone


For more information regarding this event, please contact