Sports Respects Your Rights UK is supported by researchers at the forefront of international research on child welfare in sport. Mike Hartill and Melanie Lang have been lecturing and researching within the field of child abuse in sport for many years and bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise that forms the bedrock for the SRYR outreach activities and resources. These pages detail some of this work but please get in touch if you would like to know more.

Dr Melanie Lang

Melanie is a sociologist and former international youth swimmer, swimming coach and journalist who now works as a Senior Lecturer in Child Protection in Sport in the Department of Sport and Physical Activity at Edge Hill University.

She has worked with various national sports organisations as well as academic colleagues worldwide and has delivered training workshops on safeguarding and child protection in sport and presented at international research conferences. She sits on the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit Research Evidence and Advisory Group, the editorial board of the Irish Journal of Sociology and on the editorial advisory board of the British Sociological Association’s Network publication.

Dr Mike Hartill

Mike is a sociologist and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sport & Physical Activity at Edge Hill University with a background in national level youth tennis and (local level) rugby league and rugby union.

He conducts and publishes research on child maltreatment in sport and has conducted several evaluations of child protection in sport policy. In 2003 Mike initiated the first university-level module on safeguarding and child protection in sport.

Mike has sat on the Child Protection in Sport Unit Research Evidence Advisory Group since 2003 and works with a number of national and international sports organizations. Mike has provided consultancy for organizations such as German Sport Youth, ENGSO Youth and the Spanish Sports Council and collaborates with academics across Europe and in North America.