Safeguarding Athletes in Sports

 Problems related to corporal punishment, abuse, and harassment (corporal punishment, etc.) by instructors are occurring in the Japanese sports world.

 For the future development of the Japanese sports world after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games in 2021, it is necessary to create an environment where young people, the future leaders of the sports world, can participate safely and happily in sports without fear of corporal punishment from their leaders.

 However, in junior high and high school club activities, which have been the centre of youth sports in Japan, there has been a tendency for instructors to accept corporal punishment as a necessary evil based on the ‘whip of love’ theory. As a result, in 2012, a student at Sakuraomiya Senior High School in Osaka City committed suicide after being subjected to corporal punishment by the school’s advisor. The following year, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) issued a notice setting forth standards for the interpretation and application of disciplinary actions and corporal punishment by teachers towards students and pupils, and formulated the ‘Research Report on the State of School Athletic Club Activities’. With these notices and reports, the standards for disciplinary action and corporal punishment were reviewed, and guidelines on how guidance should be provided in school club activities were presented. In the same year, the ‘Declaration on the Eradication of Violence in Sports’ was adopted by the Japan Olympic Committee(JOC), the Japan Sports Association (JASA, now the Japan Sport Association, JSPO), and three other organisations. In addition, in recent years, a review of overtime work for school club activity advisory teachers has also been promoted.

 In light of these circumstances, this section focuses on issues related to sports integrity, such as corporal punishment by coaches, while referring to international research trends to realise the welfare of athletes, and provides information on the future of youth sports in Japan. Among other issues related to sports integrity, we also focus on the issue of corporal punishment by coaches.

 In addition, the Child Protection System, a system for the prevention of corporal punishment and abuse of children under the age of 18 by leaders in the United Kingdom, which has been studied by the institute’s founder with the support of a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research for four times since 2010, is also discussed in relation to this issue.