Melanie is Director of the Centre for Safeguarding and Child Protection in Sport (CPSS) and Reader in Child Protection in Sport at Edge Hill University. Her research and teaching focus on children’s (participation) rights in sport; safeguarding, child protection and abuse prevention in sport; and gender-based violence in sport.
Melanie works with national and international sports and safeguarding organisations and policymakers. She is the only UK researcher to be a member of the Council of Europe’s ‘Pool of European Experts on Safe Sport’. Her research has been funded by Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, the International Olympic Committee Advanced Research Grant Programme, and the European Education and Culture Executive Agency, and she delivered a module on the IOC Safeguarding Officer in Sport progarmme. She is editor of three books: ‘The Routledge Handbook of Athlete Welfare’ (Routledge, 2021), ‘Safeguarding, Child Protection and Abuse in Sport: International Perspectives in Research, Policy and Practice’ (Routledge, 2015), and ‘Bullying and the Abuse of Power’ (Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2010).
Within Edge Hill University, she is the Social Sciences International Co-ordinator for study abroad schemes, sits on the institutional Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee, and is a Faculty Designated Safeguarding Officer. She was a Fellow of the Institute for Social Responsibility in 2021/22.
Children’s rights in sport, especially participation or ‘voice’
Safeguarding, child protection and abuse prevention in sport
Welfare and well-being of adult and child athletes
Gender-based violence in sport (sexual harassment & sexual violence in sport)
‘Safe sport’ policy implementation and evaluation
Narrative methodology and pedagogy
Research ethics & conducting ‘sensitive’ research
Melanie has been teaching modules on safeguarding, child protection, and children’s rights in sport since 2005. She supervises MSc, MRes, and PhD students working in the areas of children’s rights, safeguarding, child protection, and gender-based violence prevention in sport.
- Advancing Children’s Rights in Sport: Coaching, Childhood Agency and the Participatory Agenda
- Imagining Sport in Lithuania: Young Athletes' views on Safe Sport
- Athlete and coach-led education that teaches about abuse: an overview of education theory and design considerations
- Gender-based violence in sport: Prevalence and problems
- Child's play? Safeguarding and protecting children in sport
- The Routledge Handbook of Athlete Welfare
- Involving Children in Decision-making in Sport Policy Development
- (Re)imagining sport in Lithuania: Young people’s promotion of safe sporting spaces
- Gender-based violence in EU sport
- Workforce regulation in sport: Examining the potential for building safer sport
- Child Abuse in Sport: European Statistics
- Council of Europe Pool of European Experts on Safe Sport (External organisation)
- The Centre for Child Protection and Safeguarding in Sport (CPSS) seminar series
- The prevalence and characteristics of interpersonal violence against children within and outside sport in six European countries: UK Results
- Grant reviewer for the Advanced International Olympic Research Centre Grant Programme
- Frontiers in Psychology (Journal)
- Interpersonal violence in sport: What we know and recommendations for practice and good governance. Keynote address to the Sport and Global Governance annual conference, Barcelona.