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UC and Sport Integrity Australia partnership to focus on research and women in sport

Elly Mackay

1 November 2022: The University of Canberra and Sport Integrity Australia today committed to working together, having entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will prioritise sport integrity research.

The impacts of cyberbullying on women in sport, through a co-funded PhD scholarship as part of this MOU will be the first deliverable.

The research project aims to identify ways to reduce online abuse and cyber-hate directed at women in sport. The selected scholar will complete a doctoral research program to identify ways to reduce the increasing levels of online abuse and cyber-hate directed at women in sport.

University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Paddy Nixon said the MOU represents the commitment of two leading institutions in women’s sport in addressing sport ethics and integrity informed by research.

“We are pleased to be partnering with Sport Integrity Australia, as they pursue their efforts in securing a safe and fair sport environment across all sport disciplines,” Professor Nixon said.

“This partnership will further enhance the work that Sport Integrity Australia does, and the PhD research project, we hope,  will reduce the toll of cyberbullying and online abuse on athletes.”

Research has shown that cyber-hate towards female athletes has been identified as a barrier to entry and retention in sport.

Sport Integrity Australia CEO David Sharpe said the project is “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.”

The MoU between the University and Sport Integrity Australia also allows for future collaboration between the two bodies on certain research, innovation, and professional education projects.

This PhD scholarship is one of 12 scholarships that were made available as part of the University’s Sport Strategy, that will be co-funded with similar like-minded organisations.

Expressions of interest for involvement in undertaking the PhD study can be sent to