Hartpury is showing its total commitment to clean sport by working towards the highest level of anti-doping accreditation.
An action plan has been submitted to UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) setting out how Hartpury will continue to raise awareness among its elite athletes and all students and staff. If successful, Hartpury is likely to be the first college to achieve the top level of accreditation.
Workshops are planned to educate athletes, coaches and other academic and support staff, to ensure they understand the risks of doping and their responsibility towards clean sport, as well as signposting where they can go for more support and advice.
Students and staff will be encouraged to sign up for UKAD’s free online advisors course and some coaches and staff will also be trained as anti-doping educators. Posters setting out Hartpury’s clean sport commitment will go up around the campus and other resources will be made available online and on social media.
The education programme will incorporate the ‘100% me’ programme values and guidance on behalf of UKAD.
The accreditation bid is being led by Performance Lifestyle Manager, Ruth Owen-Evans. Hartpury was the first UK academic institution to employ a full-time performance lifestyle manager to support its elite athletes - providing them with tools and techniques to help them balance their top-level sport with academic commitments and other life challenges.
This is part of a full package of professional sports support, including strength and conditioning, nutritional advice, testing and sport psychology and performance.
“We want all staff and students participating and competing for Hartpury – whether that’s at an elite level or just for fun – to feel confident that their training and competition environment is clean and fair,” said Ruth.
“Athletes on our elite programmes are already made aware of our Clean Sport commitment and given all the support and advice they need to fulfil that commitment and optimise their performance safely, but this accreditation process will enable us to deliver a more comprehensive education programme right across the college.
“Anti-doping education will not only be delivered through specialist sports coaching, it will be woven into all academic courses, support services and the activities and recreational programme offered to all students.
“From the day they arrive on campus, students will hear the Clean Sport message -from enrolment right through to specialist guest lectures delivered as part of their course and the placement and research opportunities available to them.”
UKAD Head of Education and Athlete Support, Amanda Batt, added: “Educational institutions have the ability to influence the attitudes and behaviours of the next generation of athletes, coaches and wider athlete support personnel.
“The leading role Hartpury is taking to prevent doping is extremely encouraging and we look forward to continuing to work together to ensure they have the support and resources required to promote clean sport.”
Whilst the accreditation scheme primarily focuses on the prevention of doping through organisational commitment, policy, information, awareness and education, UKAD and Hartpury will also consider other anti-doping tools such as testing.