Sports Addiction Research Seminar

Welcome and what to expect:

Mental health in general and the mental health of athletes in particular is a growing concern. Addiction and its attendant consequences for the individual addict and their friends and family is a significant mental health issue. George Best and Pauls Gascoigne are perhaps the paradigmatic sporting addicts, but there are many others who are experiencing their own, and perhaps more private struggle, with alcohol, drugs (recreational and performance enhancing), gambling, eating, sex, exercise or training. This seminar provides a timely and unique opportunity to explore the relationship between sport and addiction in its many manifestations and seeks to challenge some of the standard tropes about the sporting addict. The seminar is aimed at those working with sportsmen and sportswomen including coaches, administrators, psychologists, psychotherapists, and welfare officers as well as academics and researchers interested in mental health and addiction in sport. Individuals who have their own difficulties with addictive tendencies will also benefit from the seminar.

Indicative topics include:

What is addiction?
• Do we recognise addiction – are there red flags?
• Addiction, stigma and moral judgment
• How do you become addicted and how can you get better?
• What role does sport play in addiction and recovery – recovery capital?
• Are athletes particularly at risk – injury and retirement?
• Do some sports practices and cultures contribute to addiction – e.g. alcohol and gambling sponsorship or regimented  weight control practices?
• Can we rehabilitate athletes and sporting cultures?