The problem with seeing young sportspeople as athletes first, children second

A recent report commissioned by Swim England found evidence of a “culture of fear” in swimming clubs where children are treated more like professional athletes, prioritizing sporting performance above all else. While sport can have a positive impact on children’s well-being, issues arise when their athletic identity overshadows their identity as children. This can lead to a focus on winning at all costs, compromising children’s well-being and safety. The intense pressure and public scrutiny faced by young athletes can rush them into adulthood and undermine their right to privacy. It is crucial to protect children in sports and ensure their safety and well-being are prioritized over athletic success.

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