We were recently offered the opportunity to complete the Sport Census, the goal of which is to provide sports with a quick and easy tool to illuminate best practice in the area of welfare and well-being and empower informed decision making and pro-activity in these areas through accurate data reported by relevant stakeholders.

The survey was the brainchild of the world’s first Professor of Duty of Care in Sport, David Lavallee of Abertay University.

He created the Sport Census in response to Baroness Tanni-Grey Thompson’s review of this high-profile area for the Department for Digital, Culture, media and Sport last year.

Baroness Grey-Thompson recommended that Duty of Care be measured via an independent survey measuring support for sport participants and giving equal voice to all participants in the system.

Our responses were superb, and Northern Ireland Judo Federation thanks all Judoka, coaches and club participants who have completed the confidential and easy-to-use online tool, evaluating support provided to them over the past year in areas such as mental health, safeguarding and the participants voice.

Results are calculated across 7 specific areas related to duty of care, allowing an information dashboard to be created for us, quantifying the results and providing a means to track trends.

Northern Ireland Judo Federation have used this survey to objectively listen to all the different voices which combine to make up the NIJF members.  15% of our members responded to this survey which included; judoka, coaches, referees, officials, committee members and volunteers.

Bill Taggart, Chairman of Northern Ireland Judo Federation stated:

‘This survey has allowed us to quantify particular areas for programmes concerning members well-being. We can now focus on some of these areas over the next year.’

The results of the study showed that Safeguarding and Safety, Injuries and Medical scored highly and that the areas for support should be focused in Mental Health for members and the Participants Voice for all. Northern Ireland Judo Federation will use the data collected to inform our decision making and take positive action over the next twelve months at which time we will make a review again.

Professor Lavallee said:

‘How success is achieved in sport is now more important than ever. The performance and indeed participation gains in the future will come by providing the highest standards of support in the well-being and welfare space, and these gains will not be marginal – they will be significantly greater. I am pleased to be working with the Northern Ireland Judo Federation and Sport Northern Ireland as early adopters of The Sport Census demonstrating their commitment to this area, and look forward to seeing them progress.’

Once again thanks to everyone who took the time to complete the survey and to Professor David Lavallee for analysing and producing the results which our sport can use proactively in making positive changes.