During late January 2017, in conjunction with UCC Sports Law Clinic, O’Donovan and Co. Solicitors, based in Kinsale, Co. Cork, launched a survey entitled Sports Law. This survey made through “Survey Monkey” was available online for participants to complete by clicking on a link attached to an email or social media website.

Over the few weeks the survey was available for people to take, 138 responses were collected from both males and females with the majority of respondents being in the age range of 19-30 years (37%) or 31-50 years (41%). The current status or area of employment of those completing the survey varied greatly, with approximately one fifth including students. The majority of those who took the survey (64%) admitted to currently being involved in a sports club while within those involved more than half (55%) were participants in a sports club. Other roles included those of coach/mentor (13%), administration (6%) or parents / driver / taxi for those involved. Of those admitting to not being involved in sport, the main reasons included no interest (17%), no time (22%) and family / work commitments (29%).

Regarding opinion on female involvement in sports, the general consensus was that there is not enough involvement. While a mere 3% of survey participants thought that there was more than enough, 16% agreed that there was enough and a staggering 81% of those who completed the survey believe that there is not enough female involvement in sports.

The issue of discipline was most familiar to people at a local level (37%), while issues at national/international level (32%) and county/provincial level (29%) were also quite high. Policy issues were also significantly high at a local level (30%) whereas a large number of people (35%) indicated that they were not aware of any policy issues. It was also at a local level (39%), that the issue of child protection was most identified with very few people being familiar with situations at national/international level (7%) or at county/provincial level (9%).

The vast majority of people who undertook the survey (86%) were not aware of the Sports Law Clinic at UCC. However, while almost half of the participants (45%) indicated that they would seek the services of a Sports Law Clinic, the same number of people said they were unsure, while only 10% of survey undertakers responded with a ‘No’ to this question. Regarding contacting the clinic, message or email proved the most popular choice (49%), with a phone call being the next most popular response (32%).

The next topic addressed in the survey was that of the role of psychology for sports people. With only 10% of people indicating that psychology has a sufficient role and 2% of the opinion that the role is more than enough, the consensus was that the role of psychology for sports people should be more (61%). Similar results were expressed regarding the role of funding for sports people with 42% exclaiming it should be more and 43% saying that it is not enough.

On the issue of personal injuries that occur during sports participation, the opinions of people regarding adequate cover for aspects such as initial medical expenses, on-going rehabilitation / physiotherapy and potential loss of earnings for players were all pretty similar. In each case, the majority of survey participants (73%, 81% and 90% respectively) did not believe there was adequate cover provided for these aspects. Finally, an overwhelming 86% of people who took part in the survey have not come across any copyright issues regarding sport.

Christina B

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