Article: Telling (dangerous) stories, a narrative account of a youth coach’s experience of an unfounded allegation of child abuse

The full article is only available after purchase.


This paper (re)tells the story of a sports coach who was accused of emotional abuse of a child athlete and, following an investigation by his club, cleared of the allegation. Accounts of such allegations are rare and no research to date has explored coaches’ lived experiences of this. Such stories are ‘dangerous’ and remain largely unrecognised and undebated as they represent a challenge to the meta-narrative of child protection. Using the stance of a ‘storyteller’, the coach-participant’s story is presented as a monologue crafted using his words and embellished with literary techniques. The story is purposefully largely left open for interpretation in an attempt to encourage readers to engage cognitively and emotionally with it. Telling such a ‘dangerous’ story aims to add to the narrative repertoires available to those working in this field and expand understandings of child protection in sport.