Sport Integrity Australia and the University of Canberra (UC) continue to build on their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed in 2021 with the aim of developing research on topics of significant interest relating to integrity in sport.
In the latest initiative under the MoU, Sport Integrity Australia will co-fund a PhD research project seeking to understand the nature and impact of online harm, such as cyber-hate and trolling upon women involved in sport.
The PhD scholar will complete a doctoral research program to identify ways to reduce the increasing levels of online abuse and cyber-hate.
Sport Integrity Australia CEO David Sharpe said the project was “vital to help stem the scourge of online abuse directed at sportswomen”.
“Every day we are witnessing sportswomen and women involved in sport bullied and intimidated online and it’s only getting worse,” Mr Sharpe said. “It’s important that agencies such as Sport Integrity Australia collaborate with world leading research institutions such as the University of Canberra in a bid to firstly fully understand the problem and, secondly, to develop strategies to deal with the issue to ensure the well-being of women involved in sport.”
Cyberbullying through threatening, humiliating or intimidatory messaging is on the increase and has the potential to severely impact the mental health of women involved in sport.
Cyber-hate and trolling are often experienced by women in sport and are more prevalent against women of colour and women with a disability. Research has shown that this has been identified as a barrier to entry and retention.
The MoU between Sport Integrity Australia and the University of Canberra also allows for the future collaboration between the two bodies on certain research, innovation and professional education projects.