The FC Barcelona Foundation presents an innovative action protocol to combat bullying in sports education
As part of International Anti-Bullying Day, which took place on 2 May, the organisation is providing sports organisations and families with a pioneering and cutting-edge tool for combatting bullying in sports
This past Monday, 2 May, on the occasion of International Anti-Bullying Day, the FC Barcelona Foundation presented all sports organisations with an innovative and all-new action protocol that they can use to protect against bullying in sports education.
Furthermore, the President of both FC Barcelona and the Foundation, Joan Laporta, together with coach Xavi Hernandez and first team player Eric García, wish to join the fight against this kind of violence by contributing towards raising awareness about the protocol and the importance of knowing how to act when confronted with bullying in sports.
The new protocol is aimed at clubs, sports organisations, and technical staff, as well as the families of all children who take part in sports education. It is a unique and pioneering tool to use in the fight against bullying, especially since there is a significant gap in this regard in Catalonia and most other autonomous communities.
As in any protocol for action, it indicates the steps to follow from the very first moment in which suspicion arises, the detection or revelation of a bullying incident within a club by a child or as communicated by an adult. From that first moment, a 6-phase process is initiated in which the case is assessed and the necessary measures are taken to deal with the situation, protect the victim, and restore any damage.
It also includes an introduction to the characteristics of this group dynamic of violence and provides strategies for its prevention.
PHASE 1: DETECTION AND COMMUNICATION
PHASE 2: ANALYSIS OF INFORMATION AND RESEARCH
PHASE 3: EVALUATION AND INTERVENTION
PHASE 4: CASE FOLLOW-UP
PHASE 5: RESTORATION ACTIONS BY EXPERTS
PHASE 6: PROTOCOL EVALUATION AND FOLLOW-UP
This protocol is implemented as part of the application of Organic Law LO/2021, which prescribes the designation of a Protection Delegate within sports entities, the creation of a Committee for case evaluation, communication channels and anonymous reporting, as well as Protocols of action against violence.
The protocol offered by the Foundation is freely available to everyone and aims to help alleviate this social problem that occurs not only in schools or on social networks, but also among children and adolescents in other social contexts, such as in sports.
The FC Barcelona Foundation has been gaining expertise and knowledge about this problem since 2017, through a series of studies on the prevalence of bullying in primary schools and football education in Catalonia. This led to the creation of the Bullying at School Prevention Programme in Catalonia. Now in its third edition, it serves 80,000 children and 325 primary schools, helping to reduce the number of victims of bullying (35.8%) and cyberbullying (60%).
On the other hand, it also addresses bullying prevention in sports through specific training provided to more than 2,000 technicians and sports technical staff in order to provide them with prevention strategies and a methodology that can be applied through sports. Training and resources available on our website. Link
Bullying is an issue among children and teenagers wherever they gather: whether that be at school or on social networks, but also in sports. At Barça we are firmly committed to eradicating this form of violence. And we do so with expertise and knowledge.
Studies promoted by the Foundation revealed that 25% of children in primary school are victims of bullying, and that bullying was one of the causes for the abandonment of sports. This is what pushed us to come up with ways to prevent it from happening in future. We designed a bullying prevention programme for primary schools in Catalonia, in which 325 schools and almost 80,000 children have already participated in the last three years. But we have also provided sports clubs with their own bullying prevention methodology.
And now it's time to take another step forward: to understand how to ACT when we receive a warning about bullying or cyberbullying in sports. And since today is International Anti-Bullying Day, we want to provide the sports community with a protocol of action against bullying in sports, so that clubs, sports coaches, and all the staff involved with athletes in sports education can ACT accordingly in a situation of bullying among equals.
Here at the FC Barcelona Foundation, we apply a preventive approach to the problem of bullying, both at school and in sports. We have developed a methodology that is innovative, both in our country and internationally, and we are now taking it one more step forward with this protocol for action against bullying in sports, by making it available to everyone. This protocol is intended to help alleviate this social issue, which not only occurs at school or on social networks, but also in other contexts of coexistence, such as in sports.
It is a unique and pioneering tool in the fight against bullying, since there is a significant gap in this regard both in Catalonia and most other autonomous communities. This protocol provides the necessary tools to intervene and act against warnings or cases of bullying, as well as outlining the methodology required to guide any sports organisation through the process step-by-step from the first moment a case of bullying is detected or noticed in sports education.