New online e-learning training on trauma awareness and adverse childhood experiences

New online e-learning training on trauma awareness and adverse childhood experiences

Following the successful delivery of several face to face workshops, and a successful transition online, Healthy Stadia is launching a series of online e-learning training courses for sports organisations on trauma awareness and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) to complement more established training on safeguarding.

Experiencing trauma can have long-lasting health and social consequences. Trauma is very prevalent in the lives of adults who are at risk of perpetrating or experiencing violence, homelessness and problematic alcohol and drug use. But trauma is not unique to adults. Children can also experience trauma, and extreme or prolonged stress in childhood is commonly referred to as adverse childhood experiences or ACEs.

There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating that adults who suffered trauma or prolonged stress during childhood are more likely to adopt health-harming behaviours in later life such as smoking tobacco, alcohol and drug misuse, which can lead to early onset of chronic disease. Adults in the most deprived communities are also three times more likely to have suffered four or more ACEs than their more affluent counterparts.

However, ACEs should not define anyone’s future. Participation in sport and the positive relationships with coaches and other trusted adults can help strengthen resilience, reverse the harm from trauma and result in lifelong benefits for individuals, families and the wider community.

Participation in sport generates significant social value by improving health and wellbeing, education attainment and life satisfaction and reducing crime. Working in a trauma-informed and ACE-aware way will help sports organisations to reach out and maintain contact with hard to engage, vulnerable young people and adults in our communities, some of which would not normally participate in sport.

To help support community sports organisations, Healthy Stadia, in conjunction with public health experts specialising in trauma-informed practice, has developed a unique online e-learning training course focusing on trauma and adverse childhood experiences to complement more established training on safeguarding.

The training session features an introduction to trauma and ACEs, the short- and long-term effects of trauma on the brain and body and subsequently behaviour, and explores how sport can provide both a safe environment and supportive relationships to help individuals build resilience and even recover from trauma.

The training has been designed with interactivity in mind and features multiple choice quizzes and opportunities to contribute thoughts, opinions and experiences through an online chat function and also via video link. Participants will also have the opportunity to comment on and evaluate several videos with testimony from those living with ACEs.

Course Objectives:

  • Improve knowledge about the nature and extent of ACEs
  • Understand how trauma can have adverse effects on behaviours, emotions and lifelong opportunities
  • Understand how the supportive relationships and environments that sport provides can prevent or reverse the harm from trauma and build individual and community resilience
  • Enhance current safeguarding training and practices
  • Develop ACE aware and trauma-informed approaches across sport organisations


Michael Viggars

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