The phenomenon of doping in sport is a serious public health issue that poses threats to both sport and society as a whole. Doping is not restricted to a small number of elite performers and there are concerns that more and more young people in recreational and grassroots sport are using substances and other techniques prohibited under the World Anti-Doping Code.
It is therefore in the interests of sport organisations to expand their doping-prevention efforts beyond the traditional focus on elite performers. By reaching out to recreational or grassroots athletes, students and other target groups, they do the right thing for society and can also enhance the image of their sports, expand their participant bases and attract new support from government and partners.
In 2017, European Athletics launched its I RUN CLEAN e-learning programme, including an innovative values-based learning module entitled “Making Good Decisions”, and made completion of the programme a mandatory entry requirement for all its championship events. With the support of the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme, this project will enhance the I RUN CLEAN programme and use it to reach out to the grassroots of athletics throughout Europe.
The general aim of the I RUN CLEAN project is to strengthen European Athletics’ I RUN CLEAN anti-doping education programme with innovative new interventions in multiple languages to prepare grassroots athletes and those who support them to deal with the issue of doping and make decisions that protect their well-being and the integrity of the sport.
To develop anti-doping e-learning modules for coaches/athlete support personnel and parents to complement the existing modules for athletes
The existing I RUN CLEAN e-learning programme, launched in 2017, pioneered the practical application of values-base anti-doping education with its module for athletes entitled “Making Good Decisions”. This approach will be applied to new modules for other target groups that play important roles in the ethical development and decision-making process of young people.
To develop anti-doping workshops for settings such as schools, sport clubs, training camps and competitions
Locally delivered workshops will re-enforce and enhance participants’ awareness of values and their application to important decisions created in the I RUN CLEAN e-learning modules. The current project will build on the experience of several partners that have previously designed and delivered in-person anti-doping education measures to create workshops targeting athletes, coaches/athlete support personnel and parents.
To develop a process to prepare young volunteer ambassadors to deliver the anti-doping workshops
Bringing I RUN CLEAN anti-doping workshops to significant numbers of participants in the athletics community calls for a well-trained workforce of volunteer ambassadors. The training process designed in the project will include preparing the ambassadors to deliver the workshops and to train the next generation of ambassadors, thereby helping to ensure the long-term sustainability of the programme.
To evaluate the impact of the two interventions (e-learning modules and workshops) on the knowledge and attitudes of the participants
I RUN CLEAN will be among the first anti-doping education programmes to include assessment of the efficacy of its interventions (e-learning modules and workshops) on the thinking and intentions of participants. The project team includes world-leading expertise in research on the psychology of emotions and motivation, which will be used to design and implement the testing and evaluation procedures.
The I RUN CEAN project is coordinated by the Agence pour le Développement de l’Athlétisme en Europe (English: Agency for the Development of Athletics in Europe) or ADAE, a Paris-based non-governmental international association with a non-profit purpose in accordance with French law. Established by European Athletics, its mission is to manage relationships with the institutions of the European Union and coordinate EU-funded projects on behalf of and in cooperation with the national athletics federations of Europe.
Approved for co-funding by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme in September 2019, the work of the I RUN CLEAN project officially started on 1 January 2020. According to the project plan, the activities and outputs will be completed by 31 December 2022.
The outputs and learnings of the I RUN CLEAN project will be shared beyond the project team to all of European Athletics’ 51 Member Federations, which will be encouraged to implement the created educational measures in their own countries. The project results will also be shared with other international sport organisations through a conference planned for late 2022.
A communications strategy will aim to promote the I RUN CLEAN e-learning platform and workshops to participant target groups in each of the partner countries using the partners’ websites and other traditional channels, well-known influencers and social media.
What they say
Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme
of the European Union
Agence pour le Développement de l'Athlétisme en Europe (ADAE)
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