"If we could start again and design sport around the needs of children, would the sports still look the same as they do now?" Mark O'Sullivan asked this question at a conference a few years ago, and I keep revisiting it, thinking about it from the perspective of the needs of horses.
With the continuing issues of abuse in sports, this episode explores what the issues are and whether there are cultural aspects to the way sports have emerged that may make abuse easier to perpetrate and harder to eradicate. Does a historical focus of developing obedience and compliance undermine agency and consent. And if so, how can we move forward and have youth and equestrian sports that are safe, ethical, and meet the needs of those partaking?
Thank you to this weeks guests, authors Dr Jennifer Fraser and Julie Taylor, for joining me for a conversation about abuse and bullying, the impact that it has on individuals and how sports are perceived by those outside of the current systems. This was a difficult but important conversation for me. I am passionate about not losing equestrian sports, but equally passionate that much needs to change moving forward or we will lose them and with good reason.
My guests on this episode are:
Julie Taylor is a journalist and author of 'I Can't Watch Anymore': The Case for Dropping Equestrian from the Olympic Games.' 'Catalogues what happens to sport horses in plain sight ... should be compulsory reading for all of us who care about horses.' - Professor Paul McGreevy BVSc, PhD, FRCVS; author, Equine Behaviour
Passionate, yet rigorous and meticulously researched, this eye-opening book holds equestrian sport up to Olympic standards and finds it sadly wanting.'
Find Julie on Twitter @eponatv Facebook https://www.facebook.com/eponatv and YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/eponatv
Dr Jennifer Fraser is the author of 'The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health.' 'Bullying and abuse are at the source of much misery in our lives. Because we are not taught about our brains, let alone how much they are impacted by bullying and abuse, we do not have a way to avoid this misery, heal our scars, or restore our health.'
Find Jenniferon Twitter @bulliedbrain