a 36 months EU funded Erasmus+ project

that runs from July 2022

I battled with many eating disorders and body issues as a younger girl and it took me a long time to find self love and acceptance!
Trust me, all of that pain and destruction I inflicted on myself wasn't worth it.

Eating Disorders have suffered a significant increase around the world over the past decades. In the sport sector, prevalence of these issues is exceptionally worrying, as athletes are more prone to fixation for perfect physical appearance and performance. Even though professional athletes count with the help of nutritionist and psychologist to guide them in their journey, amateurs’ sport coaches do not have the necessary training and knowledge to identify risky behaviors and act upon them. SCAED’s team noticed the lack of resources in the sport sector to provide the population with preventive and reactive tools that can help mitigate the spread of EDs around Europe. For instance, there is not a transnational entity in charge of raising awareness and promoting the exchange of best practices among institutions. “The Sport Community Against Eating Disorders” project, also known as SCAED, tries to get inserted in this niche by, first, identifying the characteristics of EDs among amateur European athletes and, second, creating high-quality materials (Manual, Booklet and Map of European Entities) that can be used by sport related institutions (sport clubs, associations of families, coach-training institutions, etc.) in the fight against EDs. The research was turned into a report that serves as the base of future studies and projects, while the manual was put into practice through introductory workshops that should, in the long run, help athletes’ coaches and families in this matter. As a result of the close collaboration of partners and the involvement of other stakeholders in an International Multiplier Event, a European Sport Front against EDs was created, fostering future initiatives and activities.

General objectives

The topic of the project “the Sport Community Against Eating Disorders”, SCAED, is indeed a mental health problem deeply extended not only in the European Union but all around the world. EDs are spreading among the overall population, but especially among athletes and it is urgent to act from diverse perspectives, such as high-quality training about prevention measures for coaches. As expressed by Kaisa Larjomaa at the European Commission Expert Group “Skills and Human Resources Development in Sport” (2020): Coaching is much more than just preparing top athletes for competitions. Coaches help children, youth (…) in being healthy, (…), in developing as a person. The recommendations can pave the way of recognizing the variety of skills and knowledge that coaches need today, implementing these observations into coaches’ education. “Promoting education in and through sport” and, in particular, “promoting the quality of coaching and staff” have been chosen as a priority because partners believe the potential damages of sport on a psychological level, such as the development of an obsession towards weight control, should be part of the training of any sport coach/instructor. Even though the European Commission does not have any specific branch focused on EDs, it has always made efforts to improve the mental health of its citizens. In the Green Paper on “Improving the mental health of the population: Towards a strategy on mental health for the European Union” (2005), the need to open up a platform for involving stakeholders including patient and civil society organizations into building solutions is mentioned. SCAED will support this matter by carrying out an in-depth research on the problematic, that will serve as a ground document for all preventive and reactive measures taken around the EU. The Consortium also designed and put to practice a Manual for sport coaches, centers and associations that provides useful information about how to identify and ED in athletes and how to act consequently. Lastly, a Map of European Resources for Combating Eating Disorders which is available online for the overall public, assisting the search for any kind of professional support.


Specific Objectives

  1. To prevent eating disorders in amateur sport.
  2. To give sport coaches and athletes’ families the competences necessary to prevent eating disorders and act adequately if they appear.
  3. To raise awareness on this topic among the sport community.