We are committed to promoting mental wellbeing in professional sport and also using the power of sport to help break down the stigma that sometimes surrounds mental health issues. The PPF is one of the founding partners of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation along with the Sport and Recreation Alliance and Mind. The influential Charter was launched by the Deputy Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, and Clarke Carlisle in March 2015.
In 2013 we held a national conference on mental health and sport when we launched a report about ex-players mental health. A copy of the Life after Sport research is available here.
In 2014 the PPF became one of the first sports bodies to receive funding from the Responsible Gambling Trust to develop and deliver tutor training on identifying, treating and preventing problem gambling for professional athletes. This work was developed and delivered in partnership with Gamcare.
In the same year we commissioned some original research which found that professional athletes can be three times more likely to suffer from gambling problems compared to the wider population of young men. This research is available here.
Following on from the success of the tutor training, we won a tender process from the RGT for a two year project to research and develop an improved educational offering for professional athletes on problem gambling. We are currently conducting research with athletes and key stakeholders and hope to launch an on-line learning module in the autumn of 2017.
The PPF and its members are committed to drug free sport and support fair, effective and proportionate drug testing regimes that recognise and respect athletes’ legal rights as both employees and European citizens.
The majority of sports in the UK are subject to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code. The Code imposes a number of restrictions upon athletes that have the potential to conflict with national and European legislation, including human rights, the working time directive and data protection laws.
The PPF is committed to working with partners towards a drugs policy that balances the needs of the drug testers against the rights of players whilst recognising the specifics of professional sport in the UK. We are strong advocates for the need to focus on rehabilitation and treatment when it comes to recreational drugs rather than a simplistic and dangerous focus on banning players as seen within the current WADA Code.
Our education partnership with the betting operators helps to educate around 5,000 senior and academy players each year about sports betting integrity. More information on the education work is available here.
In addition to helping to fund and develop this education the PPF was one of the founding members of the Sports Betting Integrity Forum and the Sports Betting Group. We are also official observers on the EU Expert Group on Match Fixing. Our work in these committees helps to ensure that the views of athletes are represented during policy discussions about how best to combat the threat of match fixing.