A group of Bournemouth University Sport Management students have completed a project to explore the issue of homophobia in schools and sports clubs.

It revealed that homophobia, and homophobic language is widespread in schools.

Over half of students hear homophobic language at school on a daily basis.

A similar percentage admitted to using this language towards fellow students.

There were no rules or punishments in place for the use of homophobic language and a lack of education.

In sports clubs, 20 per cent of respondents admitting to hearing homophobic language at their club.

The importance of the project was highlighted by Dr Ian Jones, the Associate Dean for Sport at BU, who said: “Important subjects such as racism and homophobia are often either overlooked or seen as taboo subjects.”

The report’s recommendations include the need to raise the awareness of teachers and sports club coaches of the impact of homophobia and to develop a reporting system for its victims.

Other recommendations include the need to develop a research agenda to examine the issues surrounding homophobia; create an anti homophobia campaign and encourage clubs to have a zero tolerance policy towards homophobic abuse.

The project, commissioned by Alan Mercel-Sanca, creator of the ‘Time for Change – Now! Anti-homophobia in sport Olympics legacy exhibition project’, was conducted by BU students John Bryson, Jenifer Kesik, Sam Brooks, Will Jay, Mark Wardman and Char Catley.

The work has already received support from the TUC Disability and Minorities Lead Officer, Mr Peter Purton, who has advised that the TUC will officially support the report and project’s work.